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satire

[sat-ahyuh r] /ˈsæt aɪər/
noun
1.
the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.
2.
a literary composition, in verse or prose, in which human folly and vice are held up to scorn, derision, or ridicule.
3.
a literary genre comprising such compositions.
Origin
1500-1510
1500-10; < Latin satira, variant of satura medley, perhaps feminine derivative of satur sated (see saturate)
Related forms
nonsatire, noun
Can be confused
burlesque, caricature, cartoon, parody, satire (see synonym study at burlesque; see synonym study at the current entry)
satire, satyr.
Synonyms
1. See irony1 . 2, 3. burlesque, caricature, parody, travesty. Satire, lampoon refer to literary forms in which vices or follies are ridiculed. Satire, the general term, often emphasizes the weakness more than the weak person, and usually implies moral judgment and corrective purpose: Swift's satire of human pettiness and bestiality. Lampoon refers to a form of satire, often political or personal, characterized by the malice or virulence of its attack: lampoons of the leading political figures.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for satire
  • Its impossible to watch any kind of western satire with her.
  • Shows range from political satire to performance puppetry and admission is by donation.
  • Parody would be a first cousin, a satire on an actual work of art.
  • Otherwise, the opportunities for satire and mortification are much too delicious.
  • These articles make for good satire, but the fact that they're written under a pseudonym allows for fiction.
  • The imaginary society is simply the vehicle for satire and criticism of things as they are.
  • The poem in its mock heroics is a sly satire of the grand manner of the romantic epic.
  • The story is tightly narrated, with some well-turned yuppie satire.
  • The sensitive author at once set about revenging himself by satire.
  • The old blackout-sketch-blackout routine was replaced by a new form in which satire and current events merged before your eyes.
British Dictionary definitions for satire

satire

/ˈsætaɪə/
noun
1.
a novel, play, entertainment, etc, in which topical issues, folly, or evil are held up to scorn by means of ridicule and irony
2.
the genre constituted by such works
3.
the use of ridicule, irony, etc, to create such an effect
Word Origin
C16: from Latin satira a mixture, from satur sated, from satis enough
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 satire
n.

late 14c., "work intended to ridicule vice or folly," from Middle French satire (14c.) and directly from Latin satira "satire, poetic medley," earlier satura, in lanx satura "mixed dish, dish filled with various kinds of fruit," literally "full dish," from fem. of satur "sated" (see saturate).

First used in the literary sense in Latin in reference to a collection of poems in various meters on a variety of subjects by the late republican Roman poet Ennius. The matter of the little that survives of his verse does not seem to be particularly satiric, but in classical Latin the word came to mean especially a poem which assailed the prevailing vices, one after another. Altered in Latin by influence of Greek satyr, on mistaken notion that the literary form is related to the Greek satyr drama (see satyr).

Satire, n. An obsolete kind of literary composition in which the vices and follies of the author's enemies were expounded with imperfect tenderness. In this country satire never had more than a sickly and uncertain existence, for the soul of it is wit, wherein we are dolefully deficient, the humor that we mistake for it, like all humor, being tolerant and sympathetic. Moreover, although Americans are 'endowed by their Creator' with abundant vice and folly, it is not generally known that these are reprehensible qualities, wherefore the satirist is popularly regarded as a sour-spirited knave, and his every victim's outcry for codefendants evokes a national assent. [Ambrose Bierce, "Devil's Dictionary," 1911]



Proper satire is distinguished, by the generality of the reflections, from a lampoon which is aimed against a particular person, but they are too frequently confounded. [Johnson]



[I]n whatever department of human expression, wherever there is objective truth there is satire [Wyndham Lewis, "Rude Assignment," 1950]
For nuances of usage, see humor (n.).

v.

1905, from satire (n.). Related: Satired; satiring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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satire in Culture

satire definition


A work of literature that mocks social conventions, another work of art, or anything its author thinks ridiculous. Gulliver's Travels, by Jonathan Swift, is a satire of eighteenth-century British society.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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