satire

noun sat·ire \ ˈsa-ˌtī(-ə)r \
Updated on: 12 Nov 2017

Definition of satire

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

Examples of satire in a Sentence

  1. 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. BowersockNew York Review of Books26 Feb. 2009
  2. Unlike late-night talk shows that traffic in Hollywood interviews and stupid pet tricks, "The Daily Show" is a fearless social satire. Not many comedy shows would dare do five minutes on the intricacies of medicare or a relentlessly cheeky piece on President George W. Bush's Thanksgiving trip to Iraq … —Marc PeyserNewsweek29 Dec. 2003 - 5 Jan. 2004
  3. Saturday Night Live alum Bill Murray stars in this film about Army basic training, and it features Second City TV veterans John Candy and Harold Ramis. Director Ivan Reitman co-produced Animal House. Do not, however, expect a devastating satire on the military; this film is so innocuous that the Defense Department let Reitman use Fort Knox, Ky. to make it. People27 July 1981
  4. His movies are known for their use of satire.

  5. The movie is a political satire.

Recent Examples of satire from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology 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

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

SATIRE Defined for English Language Learners

satire

noun

Definition of satire for English Language Learners

  • : 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


SATIRE Defined for Kids

satire

noun sat·ire \ ˈsa-ˌtīr \

Definition of satire for Students

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


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