from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The use of words to express something different from and often opposite to their literal meaning.
- n. An expression or utterance marked by a deliberate contrast between apparent and intended meaning.
- n. A literary style employing such contrasts for humorous or rhetorical effect. See Synonyms at wit1.
- n. Incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs: "Hyde noted the irony of Ireland's copying the nation she most hated” ( Richard Kain).
- n. An occurrence, result, or circumstance notable for such incongruity. See Usage Note at ironic.
- n. Dramatic irony.
- n. Socratic irony.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. Of or pertaining to the metal iron.
- n. 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, notably as a form of humor.
- n. 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.
- n. Ignorance feigned for the purpose of confounding or provoking an antagonist; Socratic irony.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Made or consisting of iron; partaking of iron; iron; ; -- In this sense iron is the more common term.
- adj. Resembling iron in taste, hardness, or other physical property.
- n. Dissimulation; ignorance feigned for the purpose of confounding or provoking an antagonist.
- n. A sort of humor, ridicule, or light sarcasm, which adopts a mode of speech the meaning of which is contrary to the literal sense of the words.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Consisting of or resembling iron; also, resembling any of the distinctive qualities of iron.
- n. Simulated ignorance in discussion: a method of exposing an antagonist's ignorance by pretending to desire information or instruction from him.
- n. Hence Covert sarcasm; such a use of agreeable or commendatory forms of expression as to convey a meaning opposite to that literally expressed; sarcastic laudation, compliment, or the like.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a trope that involves incongruity between what is expected and what occurs
- n. incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs
- n. witty language used to convey insults or scorn
French ironie, from Old French, from Latin īrōnīa, from Greek eirōneia, feigned ignorance, from eirōn, dissembler, probably from eirein, to say; see wer-5 in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
iron + -y (Wiktionary)
First attested in 1502. From Latin īrōnīa (perhaps via Middle French ironie), from Ancient Greek εἰρωνεία (eirōneia, "irony, pretext"), from εἴρων (eirōn, "one who feigns ignorance"). (Wiktionary)