satire

noun
sat·​ire | \ ˈsa-ˌtī(-ə)r How to pronounce satire (audio) \

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

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Synonyms for satire

Synonyms

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

The Culinary Roots of Satire

Satire came into English at the beginning of the 16th century, and the meaning of the word has not strayed very far from its original sense. The initial uses were primarily applied to poems, and the term now has a broader applicability. Satire has a semantic and etymological overlap with both farce and lampoon. Farce ("a light dramatic composition marked by broadly satirical comedy and improbable plot") came into English as a synonym for forcemeat, meaning "finely chopped and highly seasoned meat or fish that is either served alone or used as a stuffing." Lampoon  ("a harsh satire usually directed against an individual") is thought to come from the French lampons!, meaning "let us guzzle!" And satire is believed to trace back to the Latin satur, meaning "well-fed."

Examples of satire in a Sentence

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 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 Peyser, Newsweek, 29 Dec. 2003 - 5 Jan. 2004 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. People, 27 July 1981 His movies are known for their use of satire. The movie is a political satire.
Recent Examples on the Web Triangle of Sadness, a new social satire from The Square director Ruben Östlund, made its debut at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday to a rousing reception. Mia Galuppo, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 May 2022 An office satire turned tragedy focuses on a group of ambitious young worker bees at a prestigious cultural magazine. Christopher Wallenberg, BostonGlobe.com, 20 May 2022 Black, white, and powerful all over, Rhada Blank's Sundance-winning debut employs biting satire to tell the story of a woman whose ambitions and badassery only get better with age. Deanna Janes, Harper's BAZAAR, 16 May 2022 Based on the controversial novel, American Psycho a chilling satire. Chaise Sanders, Country Living, 13 May 2022 It's documented that Jagger drew inspiration from the writings of Ukrainian novelist Mikhail Bulgakov, whose dark satire commented on the ideology of Christianity. Derek Scancarelli, EW.com, 12 May 2022 However, the outlet's stories are not directly labeled as satire and are presented as factual assertions, and as a result are widely believed by social media users. Dezimey Kum, USA TODAY, 26 Apr. 2022 Sabia, who is gay, said his remarks were meant as satire. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 Jan. 2022 As satire, Anders points to a patriarchy of men as family providers, their masculinity is judged not only by prowess on the tennis and paddle courts but cutting edge consumer acquisition. John Hopewell, Variety, 28 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

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First Known Use of satire

1501, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for 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

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Dictionary Entries Near satire

satiny

satire

satiric

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Statistics for satire

Last Updated

24 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Satire.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/satire. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for satire

satire

noun
sat·​ire | \ ˈsa-ˌtīr How to pronounce satire (audio) \

Kids Definition of satire

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

More from Merriam-Webster on satire

Nglish: Translation of satire for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of satire for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about satire

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