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noun sat·ire \ˈsa-ˌtī(-ə)r\

: a way of using humor to show that someone or something is foolish, weak, bad, etc. : humor that shows the weaknesses or bad qualities of a person, government, society, etc.

: a book, movie, etc., that uses satire

Full Definition of SATIRE

:  a literary work holding up human vices and follies to ridicule or scorn
:  trenchant wit, irony, or sarcasm used to expose and discredit vice or folly

Examples of SATIRE

  1. His movies are known for their use of satire.
  2. The movie is a political satire.
  3. By contrast, Martial's friend, Juvenal, learned to transmute Martial's epigrammatic wit into savage satire. Juvenal's fierce, if occasionally obscene, tirades against immorality fit easily into the propaganda of the new era. —G. W. Bowersock, New York Review of Books, 26 Feb. 2009

Origin of SATIRE

Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin satura, satira, perhaps from (lanx) satura dish of mixed ingredients, from feminine of satur well-fed; akin to Latin satis enough — more at sad
First Known Use: 1501

Synonym Discussion of SATIRE

wit, humor, irony, sarcasm, satire, repartee mean a mode of expression intended to arouse amusement. wit suggests the power to evoke laughter by remarks showing verbal felicity or ingenuity and swift perception especially of the incongruous <a playful wit>. humor implies an ability to perceive the ludicrous, the comical, and the absurd in human life and to express these usually without bitterness <a sense of humor>. irony applies to a manner of expression in which the intended meaning is the opposite of what is seemingly expressed <the irony of the title>. sarcasm applies to expression frequently in the form of irony that is intended to cut or wound <given to heartless sarcasm>. satire applies to writing that exposes or ridicules conduct, doctrines, or institutions either by direct criticism or more often through irony, parody, or caricature <a satire on the Congress>. repartee implies the power of answering quickly, pointedly, or wittily <a dinner guest noted for repartee>.

Other Literature Terms

apophasis, bathos, bildungsroman, bowdlerize, caesura, coda, doggerel, euphemism, poesy, prosody
SATIRE Defined for Kids


noun sat·ire \ˈsa-ˌtīr\

Definition of SATIRE for Kids

:  humor that is used to make fun of and often show the weaknesses of someone or something
:  something (as a book or movie) that uses satire


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