Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English


English definition of “ironic”


adjective (HAVING OPPOSITE EFFECT)   /ɑɪˈrɑn·ɪk/ (also ironical,  /ɑɪˈrɑn·ɪ·kəl/)
odd or humorous because something has a different or opposite result from what is expected: [+ that clause] It’s really ironic that I would be asked to write about pets today because just yesterday our dog ran away.
(Definition of ironic adjective (HAVING OPPOSITE EFFECT) from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of ironic

More American English definitions for “ironic”

Definitions of “ironic” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

pump iron

to lift heavy weights for exercise

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More