Meaning of “irony” in the English Dictionary

"irony" in 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

(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)

Help us add to the Cambridge Dictionary!

These examples are from external sources. Click on the icon to tell us if any are not OK.

irony

The whiteness which we all enjoy eating actually is due to sluggishness rather than muscle tone yet the irony is that cod is a dieter's delight.
There perhaps has to be a certain irony that we, as legislators, spend much of our time demanding change and modernisation of those we legislate for.
There is an irony in there somewhere.
Surely there is a certain irony in calling for compulsory and irrevocable solidarity: surely solidarity is something that is offered and not compulsory.
The irony is that on this particular occasion it is being offered as a solution to an area for which there is no problem in the first place.
I must say - without irony and with a high level of satisfaction - that no one here tonight has questioned the fact that we need to be number one.
I say this entirely without irony.
I could say, with some irony, that the only group omitted from this report is those such as myself: heterosexual, middle-aged white men of right-wing political orientation.

Blogs about "irony"