Meaning of “irony” in the English Dictionary

"irony" in British English

See all translations

ironynoun [ U ]

uk /ˈaɪ.rə.ni/ us /ˈaɪ.rə.ni/

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

  • With inevitable irony, it was Smith who scored the winning goal against his former team.
  • The final irony of the situation was that Collins himself ordered the assassination.
  • The irony is that the formula turned out to have been incorrect all along.
  • He noted the irony that the weapons were now being used against the country that produced them.
  • The irony is that his mistake will actually improve the team's situation.

(Definition of “irony” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"irony" in American English

See all translations

ironynoun [ C/U ]

us /ˈɑɪ·rə·ni, ˈɑɪ·ər·ni/

a type of usually humorous expression in which you say the opposite of what you intend:

[ U ] He had a powerful sense of irony, and you could never be absolutely sure when he was serious.

Irony is also something that has a different or opposite result from what is expected:

[ C ] It is one of the ironies of life that by the time you have earned enough money for the things you always wanted, you no longer have the energy to enjoy them.

literature Irony is a style of writing in which there is a noticeable, often humorous, difference between what is said and the intended meaning.

(Definition of “irony” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

Blogs about "irony"