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[ahy-ron-ik] /aɪˈrɒn ɪk/
using words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning; containing or exemplifying irony:
an ironic novel; an ironic remark.
of, relating to, or tending to use irony or mockery; ironical.
coincidental; unexpected:
It was ironic that I was seated next to my ex-husband at the dinner.
Origin of ironic
1620-30; < Late Latin īrōnicus < Greek eirōnikós dissembling, insincere. See irony1, -ic
Related forms
nonironic, adjective
semi-ironic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ironic
  • As a consequence of this condition ironic expressions are particularly subject to the danger of being misunderstood.
  • Some cats are cold and haughty, imperious and ironic.
  • The ironic part is the struggle he had to go though to prove his worth.
  • ironic that in some ways his fans feel he is somewhat unappreciated.
  • People may use that extra time to construct more complicated ironic statements.
  • So it would be ironic if the moment had already come and gone, without any fuss, fanfare or felicitation.
  • It would be ironic if the master spin-doctor's reward ended up destroying his own reputation.
  • Rather ironic that solar energy would help produce more oil.
  • Alcoholism is a sensitive subject, and he treads carefully the ironic line between tragedy and comedy.
  • One of the more striking impressions was also faintly ironic.
British Dictionary definitions for ironic


of, characterized by, or using irony
Derived Forms
ironicalness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ironic

1620s, from Late Latin ironicus, from Greek eironikos "dissembling, putting on a feigned ignorance," from eironeia (see irony). Related: Ironical (1570s); ironically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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