Irony meaning

īrə-nē, īər-
Frequency:
The definition of irony is the use of words where the meaning is the opposite of their usual meaning or what is expected to happen.

An example of irony is someone who talks a lot having nothing to say when asked a question.

An example of irony is a whaling ship being used to save marine animals after a tsunami.

noun
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Ignorance feigned for the purpose of confounding or provoking an antagonist; Socratic irony.
noun
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Dramatic irony: a theatrical effect in which the meaning of a situation, or some incongruity in the plot, is understood by the audience, but not by the characters in the play.
noun
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(informal, sometimes proscribed) Contradiction between circumstances and expectations; condition contrary to what might be expected. [from the 1640s]
noun
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Dramatic irony.
noun
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The feigning of ignorance as a tactic in argument.
noun
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The contrast, as in a play, between what a character thinks the truth is, as revealed in a speech or action, and what an audience or reader knows the truth to be.
noun
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A combination of circumstances or a result that is the opposite of what is or might be expected or considered appropriate.

An irony that the firehouse burned.

noun
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Of, like, or containing iron.
adjective
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A statement that, when taken in context, may actually mean something different from, or the opposite of, what is written literally; the use of words expressing something other than their literal intention, often in a humorous context.
noun
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Of or pertaining to the metal iron.

The food had an irony taste to it.

adjective
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Socratic irony.
noun
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Origin of irony

  • French ironie from Old French from Latin īrōnīa from Greek eirōneia feigned ignorance from eirōn dissembler probably from eirein to say wer-5 in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • First attested in 1502. From Middle French ironie, from Old French, from Latin īrōnīa, from Ancient Greek εἰρωνεία (eirōneia, “irony, pretext”), from εἴρων (eirōn, “one who feigns ignorance”).

    From Wiktionary

  • iron +‎ -y

    From Wiktionary