What is the Definition of Irony?


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Irony

Irony is a statement that suggests its opposite. Look at this example: A man walks in his home covered in mud and in tattered clothes. His wife says, “How was your day?” The man replied, “Great.” This is an example of irony, because the husband did not have a great day. He went through some kind of major conflict where he now is covered in mud and has tattered clothes, but he still says his day was great.


This is irony, because irony is when the literal meaning is different than the intended meaning. Here, the literal meaning of what the husband said is that he had a great day, but the intended meaning is to say, “I actually had a terrible day,” and that’s why you saying “great”. This is an example of irony.


Now, you may think that this is sarcasm, but irony is different than sarcasm. Irony is a statement in which the literal meaning is opposite from the intended meaning. Sarcasm is also a statement in which the literal meaning is opposite from the intended meaning, but it’s also meant to be insulting to the person at whom it is directed. A sarcastic statement suggests that the other person is stupid enough to believe an obviously false statement is true. Irony is a bit more subtle than sarcasm.



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Last updated: 04/18/2018
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