Definition of irony noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    irony

     noun
    noun
    BrE BrE//ˈaɪrəni//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈaɪrəni//
     
    (pl. ironies) Linguistic devices
     
    jump to other results
  1. 1[uncountable, countable] the amusing or strange aspect of a situation that is very different from what you expect; a situation like this The irony is that when he finally got the job, he discovered he didn't like it. It was one of life's little ironies.
  2. 2[uncountable] the use of words that say the opposite of what you really mean, often as a joke and with a tone of voice that shows this ‘England is famous for its food,’ she said with heavy irony. There was a note of irony in his voice. She said it without a hint/trace of irony. See related entries: Linguistic devices
  3. Word Origin early 16th cent. (also denoting irony in the Socratic sense): via Latin from Greek eirōneia ‘simulated ignorance’, from eirōn ‘dissembler’.Extra examples He thanked us all without a touch of irony. It is a nice irony that the Minister of Transport missed the meeting because her train was delayed. It is a nice irony that the rivalry among popes was solved by their ancient rival, the Holy Roman Emperor. She congratulated him with gentle irony. She tried to ignore the heavy irony in his voice. The final irony was that he became Minister of Education having left school at 12. The ultimate irony is that the revolution, rather than bringing freedom, actually ended it completely. There is a certain irony in the situation. ‘England is famous for its food,’ she said with heavy irony. His writing is rich in irony. It was one of life’s little ironies. The irony is that when he finally got the job, he found he didn’t like it.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: irony

Other results

All matches