Definition of satire in English:

satire

Line breaks: sat¦ire
Pronunciation: /ˈsatʌɪə
 
/

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
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    • 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
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    • 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
    parody, burlesque, caricature, lampoon, skit, take-off, squib, travesty
    informal spoof, send-up
    British vulgar slang piss-take
  • 1.2A genre of literature characterized by the use of satire: a number of articles on Elizabethan satire
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    • 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.
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    • 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.

Derivatives

satirist

noun
More 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.

Origin

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

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