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satire

Definitions

  • Gentle Satire
    Gentle Satire
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n satire witty language used to convey insults or scorn "he used sarcasm to upset his opponent","irony is wasted on the stupid","Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody's face but their own"--Jonathan Swift"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Satire A composition, generally poetical, holding up vice or folly to reprobation; a keen or severe exposure of what in public or private morals deserves rebuke; an invective poem; as, the Satires of Juvenal.
    • Satire Keeness and severity of remark; caustic exposure to reprobation; trenchant wit; sarcasm.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n satire A literary composition, originally in verse, characterized by the expression of indignation, scorn, or contemptuous facetiousness, denouncing vice, folly, incapacity, or failure, and holding it up to reprobation or ridicule: a species of literary production cultivated by ancient Roman writers and in modern literature, and directed to the correction of corruption, abuses, or absurdities in religion, politics, law, society, and letters.
    • n satire Hence, in general, the use, in either speaking or writing, of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, etc., in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, indecorum, incapacity, or insincerity.
    • n satire Vituperation; abuse; backbiting.
    • n satire A satirist.
    • n satire Synonyms Pasquinade, Invective, etc. See lampoon.
    • n satire Irony, Sarcasm, Satire, ridicule. Irony may be of the nature of sarcasm, and sarcasm may possibly take the form of irony; but sarcasm is generally too severe, and therefore too direct, to take an ironical form; both may be means of satire. The essential thing about irony is the contradiction between the literal and the manifest meaning: as, “Is not a patron, my lord, one who looks with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water, and, when he has reached the ground, encumbers him with help?” (Johnson, To Chesterfield.) “Irony … is the humorous wresting of language from its literal use for the expression of feeling, either happy or painful, but too vehement to be contented with that literal use. … When the thoughtful spirit of Macbeth is distorted by guilt, and as the agony of that guilt grows more and more intense, the pent-up misery either flows forth in a subdued irony or breaks out in that which is fierce and frenzied.” The essential thing about sarcasm is its cutting edge; it therefore is intensely concentrated, lying in a sentence or a phrase; it is used to scourge the follies or foibles or vices of men, but has little of reformatory purpose. Satire is more elaborate than sarcasm, is not necessarily bitter, and has, presumably, some aim at the reformation of that which is satirized. “Well-known instances of ironical argument are Burke's ‘Vindication of Natural Society,’ in which Bolingbroke's arguments against religious institutions are applied to civil society; Whately's ‘Historic Doubts,’ in which Hume's arguments against Christianity are used to prove the non-existence of Napoleon Bonaparte; Swift's ‘Argument against the Abolishment of Christianity,’ and his ‘Modest Proposal’ for relieving Ireland from famine by having the children cooked and eaten.”
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Satire sat′īr or sat′ir a literary composition, orig. in verse, essentially a criticism of man and his works, whom it holds up either to ridicule or scorn—its chief instruments, irony, sarcasm, invective, wit and humour: an invective poem: severity of remark, denunciation: ridicule
    • ***

Quotations

  • Crand Briton
    Crand Briton
    “Satire is often the reflection of a kind of moral nausea.”
  • Alexander Pope
    Alexander%20Pope
    “Praise undeserved, is satire in disguise.”
  • Lenny Bruce
    Lenny%20Bruce
    “Satire is tragedy plus time. You give it enough time, the public, the reviewers will allow you to satirize it. Which is rather ridiculous, when you think about it.”
  • Lord Byron
    Lord%20Byron
    “Fools are my theme, let satire be my song.”
  • Frank Moore Colby
    Frank%20Moore%20Colby
    “By rights, satire is a lonely and introspective occupation, for nobody can describe a fool to the life without much patient self-inspection.”
  • (Decimus Junius Juvenalis) Juvenal
    (Decimus Junius Juvenalis) Juvenal
    “It is difficult not to write satire.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. satira, satura, fr. satura,sc. lanx,) a dish filled with various kinds of fruits, food composed of various ingredients, a mixture, a medley, fr. satur, full of food, sated, fr. sat, satis, enough: cf. F. satire,. See Sate Sad (a.), and cf. Saturate
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—L. satira, satura (lanx, a dish), a full dish, a medley.

Usage

In literature:

A satire survives only so long as the person or the thing satirized is remembered.
"The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 1-20" by Various
The satire is savage; and the quiver of wrath is perceptible in many a sledge-hammer phrase.
"Essays on Scandinavian Literature" by Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen
Baron Deprivyseal seconded him with great effect, brief but bitter, satirical and sore.
"The Young Duke" by Benjamin Disraeli
A writer of satires is of necessity satirical, and Sotheby, like "Wordswords and Co.," made excellent "copy.
"The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 4" by Lord Byron
Even the players ventured to be satirical on the subject.
"Art in England" by Dutton Cook
Hence satirical books and prints, under temperate regulations, check the dissoluteness of the great.
"Real Life In London, Volumes I. and II." by Pierce Egan
Satires III and X, like Horace's Poems, are prostituted by Parliamentary and vulgar use, and should lie by for a while.
"Letters of Edward FitzGerald in Two Volumes Vol. II" by Edward FitzGerald
Wit he has also, and satire.
"The Nabob, Volume 1 (of 2)" by Alphonse Daudet
The addresses of these mayors, written by Foote, Garrick, Wilks, and others, are satires and political squibs.
"Character Sketches of Romance, Fiction and the Drama" by E. Cobham Brewer
Satire was quite in the spirit of the age, and Kantemir devoted himself to it.
"A Survey of Russian Literature, with Selections" by Isabel Florence Hapgood
Songs were shouted in the Paris taverns, satirizing his weak government.
"Heroes of Modern Europe" by Alice Birkhead
But while Griffith was thus sweetly employed, his neglected guests were dispersing, not without satirical comments on their truant host.
"The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 101, March, 1866" by Various
It is made up of two elements, an element of folklore and an element of satire.
"Figures of Several Centuries" by Arthur Symons
What satire do you find on people or customs?
"Teachers' Outlines for Studies in English" by Gilbert Sykes Blakely
Satires and satirical poems, French, 146 ff., Latin, 178 ff., English, 225 ff., 358, by Langland, 391 ff., 397 ff., by Dunbar, 510.
"A Literary History of the English People" by Jean Jules Jusserand
Conceived as a new "Candide," it is a bitter satire on war and international politics.
"The Best Short Stories of 1920" by Various
Mrs. Guthrie had no idea how very often her son went to the Trellis House, but even had she known it she would only have smiled satirically.
"Good Old Anna" by Marie Belloc Lowndes
The genial Dickens will always be more popular than the satirical Thackeray.
"Elementary Guide to Literary Criticism" by F. V. N. Painter
He was a great master of venomous satire.
"A Modern History, From the Time of Luther to the Fall of Napoleon" by John Lord
The higher Morality naturally selected types of character for satire or commendation.
"A History of French Literature" by Edward Dowden
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In poetry:

His heart abrim with hate
His lips all clad in satire,
He wanders down a thorny path
His wrathful lyre in hand.
"On The Day Of Gogol's Death" by Nikolay Alekseyevich Nekrasov
"O God, why this hocus satiric!"
I cried in my anguish:
"O once Loved, of fair Unforgotten—
That Thing—meant it thee!
"My Cicely" by Thomas Hardy
The wit who deals his darts around,
At satire's altar kneeling;
From whose assaults his dearest friend,
Not pure affection may defend,
Denies the power of feeling.
"A Fragment" by Elizabeth Bath
All the holidays long chant some heavenly song,
Mere sing-song, or satire, ne'er mind;
But trust in the Lord, and in his holy word,
From whom you sure pardon shall find.
"Another Invitation, Or Exhortation To Worship Christ Jesus" by Rees Prichard
Renown'd for lyric and satiric lay,
A two-fold poet, I
Shall on strong wing be upward borne
Above the liquid sky;
No more shall earth my spirit bind—
To heav'n I'll soar, and envy leave behind.
"From Horace: Book II:Ode II" by Peter John Allan
Father, mother, sister, brother -
Memories clear as evening bells; Yes, the very sort of thing
All your clever little scribblers Love to satirize and sting, So let's talk of something else.
He collected stamps, you know, Commonplace Old Squirrel.
"The Escape of the Old Grey Squirrel" by Alfred Noyes

In news:

If you're here looking for what has recently become a predictable dose of political satire, I'm sorry.
After 22 years of speaking satire to power, the creator of Troubletown moves on.
I thought this satirical article was very well done.
SATIRE Rachel Figueroa-Levin is Twitter's @ElBloombito.
New novel Lionel Asbo displays his gift for satire.
Sometimes a headline and a photo is all satire needs to nail the point home.
Erratic Satire 'Thunder' Bites Hollywood.
Play takes satiric aim at American gun violence.
Now we've got satiric Park51 Twitter feeds.
Capitalism gets a look in the satiric Threepenny Opera.
"We used to have a name for Right Wing satire, " he says.
Even in the contemptus mundi of satire .
There are enough such satires that they've become a subgenre themselves.
Steve Martin was Colbert's guest Wednesday on the late-night satirical show "The Colbert Report," where Martin was promoting his new novel, "An Object of Beauty.
Logo of the satirical news agency The Onion.
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