What is Satire?
Satire is generally considered as a literary form in which humor, exaggeration or ridicule is used to bring to the forefront an individual or societal vice, folly, abuse or shortcoming. Its purpose, ideally, although humorous and entertaining, is to shine a light on the subject and invoke change.
The use of this form outside of literature or film is also satire, as an individual’s comment can be satirical.
1) sat·ire [sat-ahyuhr]
1. the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.
2. a literary composition, in verse or prose, in which human folly and vice are held up to scorn, derision, or ridicule.
3. a literary genre comprising such compositions.
1.a novel, play, entertainment, etc, in which topical issues, folly, or evil are held up to scorn by means of ridicule and irony
2.the genre constituted by such works
3.the use of ridicule, irony, etc, to create such an effect
[C16: from Latin satira a mixture, from satur sated, from satis enough]
late 14c., “work intended to ridicule vice or folly,” from L. satira “satire, poetic medley,” earlier satura, in lanx satura “mixed dish, dish filled with various kinds of fruit,” lit. “full dish,” from fem. of satur “sated”. First applied in literary sense to a collection of poems on a variety of subjects by Ennius. In classical L., a poem which assailed the prevailing vices, one after another.
Altered in L. by infl. of Gk. satyr, on mistaken notion that the form is related to the Gk. satyr drama.
“Satire (n.) – An obsolete kind of literary composition in which the vices and follies of the author’s enemies were expounded with imperfect tenderness. In this country satire never had more than a sickly and uncertain existence, for the soul of it is wit, wherein we are dolefully deficient, the humor that we mistake for it, like all humor, being tolerant and sympathetic. Moreover, although Americans are ‘endowed by their Creator’ with abundant vice and folly, it is not generally known that these are reprehensible qualities, wherefore the satirist is popularly regarded as a sour-spirited knave, and his every victim’s outcry for codefendants evokes a national assent.” [Ambrose Bierce, “Devil’s Dictionary,” 1911]
4) satire definition
A work of literature that mocks social conventions, another work of art, or anything its author thinks ridiculous. Gulliver’s Travels, by Jonathan Swift, is a satire of eighteenth-century British society.
5) 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
1.a. A literary work in which human vice or folly is attacked through irony, derision, or wit.
b.The branch of literature constituting such works.
2. Irony, sarcasm, or caustic wit used to attack or expose folly, vice, or stupidity.
1. mockery, wit, irony, ridicule, sarcasm, raillery, pasquinade
2. parody, mockery, caricature, send-up (Brit. informal), spoof (informal), travesty, takeoff (informal), lampoon, skit, burlesque
the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.
a play, novel, film, or other work that uses satire:a stinging satire on American politics
a genre of literature characterized by the use of satire. (in Latin literature) a literary miscellany, especially a poem ridiculing prevalent vices or follies.
9) satire — Work holding up human vices and follies to ridicule; ironic,witty work exposing or discrediting vice or folly
10) follies or vices attacked by ridicule or wit: satire
1) Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2011
2)Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition 2009
3)Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
4)The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005
6)The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
7)Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002
9) Random House Word Menu, Stephen Glazier Copyright 1997, 1992 by The Estate of Stephen Glazier
10)Bernstein’s Reverse Dictionary Quadrangle/The New York Times Book Company Copyright 1975 by Theodore M. Bernstein