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paradoxical, straightforward, expected, literal


Prefix ir-, Options and Determinations, Confusion and Misunderstanding, Rejection and Renunciation, Astonish and Outlandish



How to pronounce ironic (audio)


Dictionary definition of ironic

Displaying a sharp contrast between what is expected or intended and what actually occurs.
"It was ironic that he forgot his umbrella on the one day it rained."

Detailed meaning of ironic

Irony often involves a sense of incongruity or contradiction, where the outcome is unexpected, and it can carry a tone of sarcasm or humor. This literary and rhetorical device is used to convey deeper meanings, challenge assumptions, or highlight the discrepancy between appearance and reality. Irony comes in various forms, including situational irony, verbal irony, and dramatic irony, all of which involve a nuanced interplay between what is said, done, or understood and the underlying truth or outcome that defies conventional expectations.

Example sentences containing ironic

1. It was ironic that the fire station burned down due to a faulty electrical system.
2. His extreme fear of heights was ironic considering he worked as a window cleaner.
3. The weather forecast predicted a sunny day for the picnic, but it ended up raining – quite ironic.
4. It's ironic that the health teacher was caught smoking behind the school building.
5. The politician's promise to reduce taxes resulted in an increase – an ironic twist.
6. The environmentalist's car was a gas-guzzling SUV, which some found rather ironic.

History and etymology of ironic

The adjective 'ironic' has its etymological roots in Greek and Latin. It is derived from the Greek word 'eironeia,' which means 'dissimulation' or 'feigned ignorance.' This Greek term was later adopted into Latin as 'ironia,' carrying a similar meaning. In English, 'ironic' describes a situation or statement that displays a sharp contrast between what is expected or intended and what actually occurs. It often involves a twist of fate, where the outcome is opposite to what was anticipated or where there is a disconnect between appearance and reality. 'Ironic' situations often involve a sense of humor or wit, as they reveal incongruities or paradoxes that challenge our expectations. The term has become a fundamental concept in literature, language, and everyday communication, allowing us to highlight the unexpected and the often humorous aspects of life's contradictions.

Quiz: Find the meaning of ironic

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Further usage examples of ironic

1. In an ironic twist, the chef burnt his own dinner while cooking at a gourmet restaurant.
2. The irony of the situation was not lost on her as she slipped on a banana peel in front of a health food store.
3. The movie's main character always gave advice on relationships, but his own love life was a mess – quite ironic.
4. It was ironic that the traffic cop got a speeding ticket on his way to work.
5. The charity event to help the homeless was held at an extravagant mansion, which some found a bit ironic.
6. It's ironic that the environmental activist had a job that required constant air travel.
7. The detective's keen sense of observation was ironic given his nearsightedness.
8. The scientist's groundbreaking discovery was named after a colleague who doubted its potential – a touch of irony.
9. The sign reading "Quiet Zone" was placed next to a construction site, which was rather ironic.
10. The book club's chosen novel for the month was about the importance of time management, but they ran out of time to discuss it – a bit ironic.
11. The author's pen name, "Honest Writer," was rather ironic since he often wrote fictional stories.
12. The environmental conference was held in a location with poor air quality – a situation that was indeed ironic.
13. It's ironic that the comedian who made fun of diets ended up becoming a spokesperson for a weight loss program.
14. The software engineer's computer crashed right after he boasted about its impeccable performance – a classic case of irony.

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