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.
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Recent Examples on the Web National Report’s original satire article has since been removed from its website. Carmel Kookogey, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Facebook does not ban the posting of the Lord's Prayer," 31 July 2015 TikTok has been downloaded 165 million times in the US and has become a key part of internet and popular culture, serving as a platform for viral memes, political satire and activism. Brian Fung, CNN, "Amazon tells employees to remove TikTok from their devices immediately," 10 July 2020 Yet there’s an ecstatic feeling of new discovery running throughout Harley Quinn, a snarly upending of the Caped Crusader mythos that blends gory parody with brainy satire and a surprisingly sweet depiction of crazy love. Kristen Baldwin, EW.com, "The best TV shows of 2020… so far," 1 July 2020 Underrated 1990s action flick with a nice blend of satire, propelled in large part by Stallone’s comic timing and chemistry with then-unknown Sandra Bullock. Ben Flanagan | Bflanagan@al.com, al, "Sylvester Stallone turns 74 today; Here are his 10 best movies," 6 July 2020 Leigh Stein, a writer who herself cofounded an online community and event series for women during the 2010s, has written a delightfully tart literary satire of the Girlboss with her new book, Self Care. Kate Knibbs, Wired, "Leigh Stein's Self Care and the Death of the Girlboss," 1 July 2020 In his 1958 collection of lectures, English Satire, the scholar James Sutherland argued that satire is the literary enemy of the Romantic. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "A Satire That Demolishes the Influencer Industry," 1 July 2020 During his 16 years as host, the Comedy Central show became a juggernaut of political satire, hitting a sweet spot of earnest outrage and playful humor that hadn't been seen before. Jacob Lambert, TheWeek, "Jon Stewart's disappointing return," 26 June 2020 But be warned: Reviews of the satire are not particularly kind. Radhika Marya, Fortune, "What to watch this weekend on Netflix, HBO, and more," 26 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for satire

Time Traveler

The first known use of satire was in 1501

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Statistics for satire

Last Updated

3 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Satire.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/satire. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for satire

satire

noun
How to pronounce satire (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of satire

: 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

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

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Comments on satire

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