Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “irony”

See all translations

irony

noun [U] uk   /ˈaɪ.rə.ni/ us  

irony noun [U] (OPPOSITE RESULT)

C2 a situation in which something which was intended to have a particular result has the opposite or a very different result: The irony (of it) is that the new tax system will burden those it was intended to help.
More examples

irony noun [U] (TYPE OF SPEECH)

C2 the use of words that are the opposite of what you mean, as a way of being funny: Her voice heavy with irony, Simone said, "We're so pleased you were able to stay so long." (= Her voice made it obvious they were not pleased.)
Compare
Translations of “irony”
in Spanish ironía…
in French ironie…
in German die Ironie…
in Chinese (Traditional) 反效果, 諷刺,適得其反…
in Russian ирония, превратность судьбы, насмешка…
in Turkish tuhaflık, acayiplik, gariplik…
in Chinese (Simplified) 反效果, 讽刺,适得其反…
in Polish ironia…
(Definition of irony from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of irony?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “irony” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

shampoo

a liquid used for washing hair, or for washing particular objects or materials

Word of the Day

The way we move (Verbs for walking and running)

by Kate Woodford,
March 25, 2015
​​​ This week we’re looking at interesting ways to describe the way that people move. Most of the verbs that we’ll be considering describe how fast or slow people move. Others describe the attitude or state of mind of the person walking or running. Some describe both. Starting with verbs for walking slowly,

Read More 

crossfit noun

March 23, 2015
high-intensity strength training Two women in strappy dresses discussed how much weight they could snatch

Read More