If something is ironic it’s unexpected, often in an amusing way. If you’re the world chess champion, it would be pretty ironic if you lost a match to someone who just learned to play yesterday.

Ironic is the adjective for the noun irony. In contemporary speech, when we call something ironic, we often mean sarcastic. If you spill coffee all over drawings you’ve been working on all morning, you might ironically tell your coworker, “I’ve done something wonderful!” An ironic outcome is the opposite of what’s intended. Having someone splash mud on you is always annoying, but it would be ironic if they had splashed you because they were running up to wipe dirt off you.

Definitions of ironic
  1. adjective

    characterized by often poignant difference or incongruity between what is expected and what actually is

    “madness, an
    ironic fate for such a clear thinker”


    lacking in harmony or compatibility or appropriateness
  2. adjective

    humorously sarcastic or mocking

    ironic remark often conveys an intended meaning obliquely”
    ironic novel”
    dry, ironical, wry

    humorous, humourous

    full of or characterized by humor

Word Family