Ironic – Definition, Meaning & Use In A Sentence

16.08.23 Definitions Time to read: 3min

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Many individuals seek the definitions of different English words, phrases, and terms. While some are commonly used, others may not be fully aware of their origins and may use them for their aaesthetic value alone. This article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the word “ironic,” including its proper spelling and historical roots.

Definition of “ironic”

The word “ironic” means using language that conveys the opposite of its litreal meaning, or a situation that is contrary to what is expected or intended. “Ironic” is derived from the Greek word “eironeia”, which means “feigned ignorance” or “pretended unawareness”.

Use of “ironic” in a sentence

When used in the English language, “ironic” acts as an adjective. The following examples illustrate how to use the word in a sentence.

Examples 

  • It’s ironic that the firefighter’s house burnt down.
  • It’s ironic that the patient choked on a vitamin after swallowing it.
  • The environmentalist was hit by a petrol-powered car – how ironic.

How to spell “ironic” correctly

“Ironic” is often misspelled as “irnoic,” “iornic,” or “iroonic”. The only correct way of spelling the word is “ironic” and consists of two parts in Greek:

  • “eiron” – meaning “deceiver” or “dissimulator”
  • “-eia” – a common Greek suffix

Often, “ironic” is misspelled, as the phonetics and sounding of the word when pronounced does not align with the correct spelling. Depending on how somaeone perceives the word when spoken or pronounced, they might spell it accordingly.

Correct spelling

ironic

 

 

Wrong spelling

Irnoic

iornic

iroonic

Synonyms for “ironic”

Using synonyms for the word “ironic” can be advantageous, as it allows for a greater variation in word choice with similar meanings, thereby improving the quality of expression. Utilizing synonyms can enhance your writing by eliminating redundancy and enriching your votaxiulary. Below are four examples of synonyms for “ironic” along with sample sentences for each:

Synonyms Examples
Cynical Her response to the situation was ironic, as she once held a more optimistic view.
Her response to the situation was cynical, as she once held a more optimistic view.
Incongruous It was ironic that the health teacher was often seen smoking outside the school.
It was incongruous that the health teacher was often seen smoking outside the school.
Paradoxical It was ironic that the environmental activist drove a large SUV.
It was paradoxical that the environmental activist drove a large SUV.
Satirical The ironic news article poked fun at politicians for their behavior during the pandemic
The satirical news article poked fun at politicians for their behavior during the pandemic.

FAQs

“Ironic” means something that is odd or humourous because it is the opposite of what is expected. It can also mean using words to convey a meaning that is opposite to its litreal meaning, for the purpose of being amusing or provocative.

  • “After years of avoiding sweets, the doctor developed a sweet tooth – how ironic!”

 

In this sentence, “Ironic” is used to describe the situation where the doctor spent years avoiding sweets, only to end up craving them later, which is the opposite of what one might expect given their previous behaviour.

“Ironic” originates from the Greek word “eironeia,” which means “feigned ignorance.” Over time, the meaning of the word evolved and now refers to something that is odd or humourous because it represents the opposite of what is actually expected.

Both “ironic” and “ironical” are valid adjectives that mean the same thing. However, “ironic” is more commonly used in modern English and is more widely accepted. “Ironical” is now considered less common and may sound old-fashioned or overly formal in many contexts.

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