Share this entry

Share this page

satire

Line breaks: sat¦ire
Pronunciation: /ˈsatʌɪə
 
/

Definition of satire in English:

noun

[mass noun]
1The use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues: the crude satire seems to be directed at the fashionable protest singers of the time
More example sentences
  • Some pointed out the film's emotional power, others its use of irony and satire to criticize fascism.
  • Tan's mild political satire maintains a wry humour that complements the general comic tone.
  • Through humour, satire, and a range of experiments with language, the collection offers an oblique commentary on Caribbean society.
Synonyms
1.1 [count noun] A play, novel, film, or other work which uses satire: a stinging satire on American politics
More example sentences
  • The film is an incisive satire on religion and British society, with the Church of England hierarchy particularly coming in for a skewering.
  • Although set in the future, Owen's play is a satire on our preoccupation with surfaces.
  • The play is to be perceived as a satire on big business, which these piddling rogues try to emulate and, in their puny way, supposedly mirror.
Synonyms
1.2A genre of literature characterized by the use of satire: a number of articles on Elizabethan satire
More example sentences
  • He was a pioneer in various genres including satire, literary criticism, and drama.
  • In English literature, satire may be held to have begun with Chaucer, who was followed by many 15th-cent. writers, including Dunbar.
  • Like both satire and the sentimental, the uncanny as a literary category has been the subject of significant theoretical work.
1.3 [count noun] (In Latin literature) a literary miscellany, especially a poem ridiculing prevalent vices or follies.
Example sentences
  • My evidence for both of these assertions is to be found in a particular Horatian poem: number five in the first book of Horace's satires, commonly referred to as ‘A Journey to Brundisium.’
  • Horace's satire and Jonson's epigram have proven similarly resistant to efforts at critical appreciation.
  • For many readers, this moment of unexpected sexual explicitness drives the general grittiness of Horace's satire beyond the pale of propriety.

Origin

early 16th century: from French, or from Latin satira, later form of satura 'poetic medley'.

Derivatives

satirist

1
noun
Example sentences
  • As a satirist, the writer is unafraid of drawing aside the drapes of hypocrisy and sham that seem to safeguard middle-class ethics.
  • They bolster the poet's defense of the French monarchy and of his personal integrity, increasingly under attack by Protestant satirists.
  • Pound, old and in despair, described himself as merely a minor satirist.

Definition of satire in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day jaunt
Pronunciation: dʒɔːnt
noun
a short excursion or journey made for pleasure