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wry Line breaks: wry

Definition of wry in English:

adjective (wryer, wryest or wrier, wriest)

1Using or expressing dry, especially mocking, humour: a wry smile wry comments
More example sentences
  • She gave a wry smile at the comment on breakfast.
  • Director Peter Evans highlights the play's wry humour and latent evil with a low-key, ironic spin.
  • Levy's wry sort of humour and the ironic use of an English woman's perspective to describe the problems confronted by the immigrants is both clever and sensitive.
ironic, sardonic, satirical, mocking, scoffing, sneering, derisive, scornful, sarcastic, double-edged, dry, droll, witty, humorous
British informal sarky
2(Of a person’s face or features) twisted into an expression of disgust, disappointment, or annoyance.
Example sentences
  • Aliette made a wry face, and turned away disbelieving.
  • Cecil made a wry face, though inwardly he was relieved.
  • The two men exchanged questioning glances behind her back as she came out of the garden and closed the gate, then Penniworth gave a shrug and made a wry face of amusement.
3 archaic (Of the neck or features) distorted or turned to one side: a remedy for wry necks
More example sentences
  • Elizabeth styled him her pygmy; his enemies delighted in vilifying his "wry neck," "crooked back" and "splay foot," and in Bacon's essay "On Deformity," it was said, "the world takes notice that he paints out his little cousin to the life."
  • During the last twenty years as a rabbit breeder I have seen a great variety of ailments, injuries and mysteries appear throughout my herd and those of friends but the most challenging and perplexing certainly must be Wry neck.


Early 16th century (in the sense 'contorted'): from Old English wrīgian 'tend, incline', in Middle English 'deviate, swerve, contort'.



Pronunciation: /ˈrʌɪli/
Example sentences
  • The extreme mood changes in the film command attention as they skip from raw and furious to wryly humorous to tragic and forlorn.
  • I used to get outraged at some of the antics performed by politicians, but now I just smile wryly and have another beer.
  • He also wryly acknowledges that he risks sounding like a grumpy old man pining for an overly-romanticised past.


Pronunciation: /ˈrʌɪnəs/
Example sentences
  • Like all great music, Beatles songs give voice to an intense sense of possibility and do so with an economy, a down-to-earthness and a wryness that remain wonderfully invigorating.
  • Prosodical and rhetorical choices in both poems combine to create an unusual balance between gravity and elegance, on the one hand, wryness and wit on the other.
  • He brought the same quiet wryness to his conversation, and many of his remarks were all the funnier for his murmured, throwaway delivery.

Words that rhyme with wry

ally, Altai, apply, assai, awry, ay, aye, Baha'i, belie, bi, Bligh, buy, by, bye, bye-bye, chi, Chiangmai, Ciskei, comply, cry, Cy, Dai, defy, deny, Di, die, do-or-die, dry, Dubai, dye, espy, eye, fie, fly, forbye, fry, Frye, goodbye (US goodby), guy, hereby, hi, hie, high, I, imply, I-spy, July, kai, lie, lye, Mackay, misapply, my, nearby, nigh, Nye, outfly, passer-by, phi, pi, pie, ply, pry, psi, Qinghai, rai, rely, rocaille, rye, scry, serai, shanghai, shy, sigh, sky, Skye, sky-high, sly, spin-dry, spry, spy, sty, Sukhotai, supply, Tai, Thai, thereby, thigh, thy, tie, Transkei, try, tumble-dry, underlie, Versailles, Vi, vie, whereby, why, Wye, xi, Xingtai, Yantai

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Word of the day innocuous
Pronunciation: ɪˈnɒkjʊəs
not harmful or offensive