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i·ron·ic(ī-rŏn′ĭk) also i·ron·i·cal (ī-rŏn′ĭ-kəl)
1. Characterized by or constituting irony.
2. Given to the use of irony.
3. Poignantly contrary to what was expected or intended: madness, an ironic fate for such a clear thinker.
Usage Note: In its nonliterary uses, irony often refers to a perceived incongruity between what is expected and what actually occurs, especially if what actually occurs thwarts human wishes or designs. People sometimes misuse the words ironic, irony, and ironically, applying them to events and circumstances that might better be described as simply coincidental or improbable, in that the events suggest no particular lessons about human vanity or folly. In our 1987 survey, 78 percent of the Usage Panel rejected the use of ironically in the sentence In 1969 Susan moved from Ithaca to California where she met her husband-to-be, who, ironically, also came from upstate New York. Some Panelists noted that this particular usage might be acceptable if Susan had in fact moved to California in order to find a husband, in which case the story could be taken as exemplifying the folly of supposing that we can know what fate has in store for us. By contrast, 73 percent accepted the sentence Ironically, even as the government was fulminating against American policy, American jeans and videocassettes were the hottest items in the stalls of the market, where the incongruity can be seen as an example of human inconsistency.
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|Adj.||1.||ironical - characterized by often poignant difference or incongruity between what is expected and what actually is; "madness, an ironic fate for such a clear thinker"; "it was ironical that the well-planned scheme failed so completely"|
incongruous - lacking in harmony or compatibility or appropriateness; "a plan incongruous with reason"; "incongruous behavior"; "a joke that was incongruous with polite conversation"
|2.||ironical - humorously sarcastic or mocking; "dry humor"; "an ironic remark often conveys an intended meaning obliquely"; "an ironic novel"; "an ironical smile"; "with a wry Scottish wit"|