Definitions of Irony



In Latin, ironia, and in Greek, eirōneia, stand for irony. The word is used in everyday speech and in philosophical treatises. In language it is listed as a figure of speech, but in philosophy its meaning is harder to fathom. As a working definition, we take irony to mean a pretense, ignorance, or falseness. Irony refers to many ideas—verbal irony, dramatic irony, situational irony, irony of fate, irony of satire, and Socratic irony. Verbal ironies are common in speech, such as when we say one thing but mean the opposite—for example, saying it is a nice day when it is actually raining heavily. Situational irony is also well known, such as in the saying that someone “killed the goose that laid the golden eggs.” We mention dramatic ironies as used in Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex and in Shakespeare’s dramas.


Klein Bottle Sound Pattern Everyday Speech Referential Meaning Narrative Meaning 
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© Michael Szenberg and Lall Ramrattan 2014

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