According to the 1755 dictionary, Samuel Johnson’s exhaustive and definitive work?

“A mode of speech in which the meaning is contrary to the words;”

NB: 1755.

Hipsters with their typewriters? Maybe they should use Johnson's Dictionary as a source for the meaning of words.

Image of Johnson's Irony.

Dictionary of the English Language (Complete and Unabridged) – Samuel Johnson


The venerable Beeb, their dictionary defines it in this fashion.

“Irony is a way of speaking in which you say something that is inappropriate, as joke or an insult.

“The IRONY of a situation is an aspect, which is strange or amusing, because it is the opposite of what you expect.

Always interesting to see other ways of understanding.

My original irony v. sarcasm post. 15 years ago? Wow, I’m getting to be a cranky old man.

Dictionary of the English Language (Complete and Unabridged) – Samuel Johnson

BBC English Dictionary: A Dictionary for the World (Collins CoBUILD)

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