Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Characterized by or constituting irony.
  • adjective Given to the use of irony.
  • adjective Poignantly contrary to what was expected or intended.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Same as ironical.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Ironical.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Characterized by or constituting (any kind of) irony.
  • adjective Given to the use of irony; sarcastic.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective characterized by often poignant difference or incongruity between what is expected and what actually is
  • adjective humorously sarcastic or mocking

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

irony +‎ -ic

Examples

  • I found the title ironic, because whether my pain was all in my head or not, it was definitely in my head.

    Chocolate & Vicodin

  • I found the title ironic, because whether my pain was all in my head or not, it was definitely in my head.

    Chocolate & Vicodin

  • Alanis Morissette may not know the true meaning of the word "ironic," but she's turned into a fine actress, something she's bound to prove once again when she guest-stars as a bride-to-be on

    www.startribune.com

  • Such name-calling makes the term ironic, not a vehicle for oppression.

    UCLA Stories

  • Making this even more ironic is the fact that the tighter standards the Chamber is trying to block would reduce by over 2 million the number of days of school kids miss due to air-pollution related illnesses.

    Pete Altman: Scholastic Steps Into the Chamber of Hypocrisy

  • Making this even more ironic is the fact that the tighter standards the Chamber is trying to block would reduce by over 2 million the number of days of school kids miss due to air-pollution related illnesses.

    Pete Altman: Scholastic Steps Into the Chamber of Hypocrisy

  • Even more ironic is it that Facebook founder and Waiting for Superman enthusiast Mark Zuckerberg can donate $110 million to finance Newark's public school reform, while we teachers and our students are barred from accessing Facebook on school computers and using it as a teaching/learning tool.

    Mike Klonsky: When I tried Showing my Students a Video, Alarms went off

  • What's ironic is that conservatives made similar claims in 2006 after the Democrats took control of Congress.

    Brendan Nyhan: The fallacy of insufficient extremism

  • Even more ironic is it that Facebook founder and Waiting for Superman enthusiast Mark Zuckerberg can donate $110 million to finance Newark's public school reform, while we teachers and our students are barred from accessing Facebook on school computers and using it as a teaching/learning tool.

    Mike Klonsky: When I tried Showing my Students a Video, Alarms went off

  • Making this even more ironic is the fact that the tighter standards the Chamber is trying to block would reduce by over 2 million the number of days of school kids miss due to air-pollution related illnesses.

    Pete Altman: Scholastic Steps Into the Chamber of Hypocrisy

Comments

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  • goddammit

    I forgot the definition of irony

    so I went to look it up on Wikipedia

    but Wikipedia is down

    AND I DON'T KNOW WHETHER THAT'S IRONIC OR NOT

    December 3, 2006

  • It isn't at all ironic, under any definition of irony that I've ever heard.

    December 3, 2006

  • I'd argue it fell under the category of cosmic irony. From the aforementioned Wikipedia page:

    "Cosmic irony is a sharp incongruity between our expectation of an outcome and what actually occurs, as if the universe were mocking us."

    December 3, 2006

  • There is a sharp incongruity between expecting to look something up on Wikipedia and Wikipedia being down? The universe was really mocking ZoFreX because Wikipedia wasn't working? Under this definition, "I went to the store to buy some milk, but they were out" is ironic, which just doesn't work for me.

    December 3, 2006

  • If he were going to the store to buy milk, riding a milk-powered car and eating milksicles then I'd say sure, it'd be ironic. Because there's an abundance of milk in the context. Just as this guy was looking for irony but was rendered unable to by a force which may or may not be ironic. That is, his not getting to the page isn't ironic, but his continued confusion because of his inability to access the page is.

    The section on the page that talks about comic irony also has some similar uses.

    "...an ironic situation might involve getting hit by a rib-delivery truck after trying to poison someone with bad rib-sauce in order to steal his or her gems,"

    "...a hapless cat is trapped against an inside house window, having to watch the once-in-a-lifetime consequences of a collison outside between a truck labeled "Al's Rodents," and another labeled "Ernie's Small, Flightless Birds.""

    December 3, 2006

  • I'm pretty sure that us being the first people to argue about the definition of irony on this site makes us heroes of pedantry. :D

    December 3, 2006

  • For something to be ironic, it must be both coincidental and paradoxical (or at the very least counterintuitive). Not just coincidental or even coincidental and unfortunate. To say, "Ironically, we arrived at the same time," would be incorrect unless, perhaps, both of you left from the same point at the same time but one of you headed West by donkey and the other traveled by plane, heading East.

    Personally, I like an element of poetic justice as well. So, if the donkey rider also sat atop an animal named "Glider" and the plane passenger had acted like an ass, well, that's ironic.

    December 8, 2006

  • Let's play a game. Count the number of times irony is used on this site. First one to spot it 10 times wins a prize.

    December 8, 2006

  • Despite what the song says, rain on your wedding day, or a free ride when you've already paid, is not ironic. It sucks, but it's not ironic.

    December 8, 2006

  • "A traffic jam when you're already late

    A 'no smoking' sign on your cigarette break

    It's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife

    It's meeting the man of my dreams

    And then meeting his beautiful wife

    And isn't it ironic...dontcha think

    A little too ironic...and yeah I really do think..."

    January 10, 2007