- An example of ironic is a vegan wearing a fur coat.
- An example of ironic is moving an event indoors because of rain and having the fire sprinklers accidently come on.
- meaning the contrary of what is expressed
- using, or given to the use of, irony
- having the quality of irony; directly opposite to what is or might be expected
- marked by coincidence or by a curious or striking juxtaposition of events: regarded by many as a loose usage
Origin of ironicClassical Latin ironicus from Classical Greek eir?nikos from eir?neia: see irony
- Characterized by or constituting irony.
- Given to the use of irony.
- Poignantly contrary to what was expected or intended: madness, an ironic fate for such a clear thinker.
Usage Note: In its nonliterary uses, irony often refers to a perceived incongruity between what is expected and what actually occurs, especially if what actually occurs thwarts human wishes or designs. People sometimes misuse the words ironic, irony, and ironically, applying them to events and circumstances that might better be described as simply coincidental or improbable, in that the events suggest no particular lessons about human vanity or folly. In our 1987 survey, 78 percent of the Usage Panel rejected the use of ironically in the sentence In 1969 Susan moved from Ithaca to California where she met her husband-to-be, who, ironically, also came from upstate New York. Some Panelists noted that this particular usage might be acceptable if Susan had in fact moved to California in order to find a husband, in which case the story could be taken as exemplifying the folly of supposing that we can know what fate has in store for us. By contrast, 73 percent accepted the sentence Ironically, even as the government was fulminating against American policy, American jeans and videocassettes were the hottest items in the stalls of the market, where the incongruity can be seen as an example of human inconsistency.
(comparative more ironic, superlative most ironic)
Some writers complain about an overuse of the word ironic to extend to situations which are remarkable for reasons other than irony - perhaps just coincidental or merely odd.
From Middle French ironique, from Late Latin ironicus