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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for ironic
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The ironic part of it was that, for all that had happened, I was busier all the time.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • Her mother turned the echo of this phrase into an ironic lament.

    Alice Adams Booth Tarkington
  • What a subject I have presented to you all these years for the exercise of your ironic faculty!

    A Spirit in Prison Robert Hichens
  • Fate, the ironic interloper, had taken a hand in this evil game.

  • Was this the ironic destiny of all ideals too austere for earth, too divine for humanity?

    Audrey Craven May Sinclair
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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