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

ditto

used to agree with something that has just been said, or to avoid repeating something that has been said

Word of the Day

Euphemisms (Words used to Avoid Offending People)

by Kate Woodford,
March 04, 2015
​​​ We recently looked at the language that we use to describe lies and lying. One area of lying that we considered was ‘being slightly dishonest, or not speaking the complete truth’. One reason for not speaking the complete truth is to avoid saying something that might upset or offend people. Words and

Read More 

snapchat verb

March 02, 2015
to send someone a message using the photomessaging application Snapchat We used to have a thing until he got a girlfriend. now

Read More