dramatic irony

noun

literature
: incongruity between a situation developed in a drama and the accompanying words or actions that is understood by the audience but not by the characters in the play : irony sense 2b
All the other doctors are knownothing quacks; that the audience has more medical knowledge than they is but one example of the dramatic irony which is a feature of Alan Bennett's brilliant script.Alan Geary

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Beanie Mania looks at Ty Warner’s empire of plush — giving all the dramatic irony and quirky personalities of a true crime doc, plus all the #tbt yearnings for a simpler time of The Toys That Made Us. Bethy Squires, Vulture, 15 Dec. 2021 The genius dramatic irony here, as loyal viewers know, is that Úrsula has a target on her back. Laura Zornosa, Time, 25 Oct. 2022 Lovers of dramatic irony have a lot to dig into here. Joshua Rivera, The Verge, 11 Jan. 2021 Every line was written with an eye on an all-too-aware 2022 audience, substituting cheap dramatic irony for genuine drama that none of the writers figured out how to generate. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 26 Apr. 2022 The film’s most powerful narrative device is a near-continuous deployment of this type of dramatic irony. Kevin Dettmar, The New Yorker, 23 Mar. 2022 Winning Time has received some criticism for a possible excess of the fourth-wall-breaking, dramatic irony and genre-tweaking that are McKay’s hallmarks. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 23 Mar. 2022 This is dramatic irony, and a call-back to the use of the song at the very end of the original series. Jackson Mchenry, Vulture, 9 Dec. 2021 The budding rapper challenged White to push himself and inspired him to further hone is craft, but there is sad, dramatic irony in knowing Shakur would be gunned down at age 25 after reaching the heights of music stardom. Washington Post, 18 Dec. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dramatic irony.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1881, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of dramatic irony was in 1881

Dictionary Entries Near dramatic irony

Cite this Entry

“Dramatic irony.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dramatic%20irony. Accessed 28 Jan. 2023.

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