Difference Between Irony and Sarcasm

Irony, as well as sarcasm, are frequently misunderstood, which really is reasonable. In certain circumstances, they can be used interchangeably.


Language Quiz

Language quiz helps us to increase our language skills

1 / 10

What is the linguistic study of meaning called?

2 / 10

What is the term used to describe words that connect clauses or sentences?

3 / 10

Fill in the blank. “Bad weather can ________ people’s ability to work.”

4 / 10

What is a language made up of symbols that represent ideas or objects called?

5 / 10

She’s wearing a ________ dress.

6 / 10

Choose the word that is a synonym for "resilient":

7 / 10

What is the term used to describe a language that has no written form?

8 / 10

What is the term used to describe a word that is spelled the same forwards and backwards?

9 / 10

Choose the correct word: I'm feeling very __________ today.

10 / 10

Choose the correct word: I think it's time to take a __________ from work.

Your score is


Since sarcasm is a kind of irony, all occurrences of sarcasm constitute irony, but not all occurrences of irony constitute sarcasm.

As a result, to clear up any confusion about facts and information, this article is here to help you grasp the definition and usages of both words, as well as the distinctions between them.

Irony vs Sarcasm

The difference between irony and sarcasm is that an irony is a tool of speech used mostly to highlight the truth of a situation by applying the opposite facts just as a sense of comical approach whereas sarcasm is something used by people who love to insult or make fun of others. Often, sarcasm contains irony but vice versa is not possible. The irony being a part of the literature, can be used to deliver some amazing messages without actually saying it.

Irony vs Sarcasm

Want to save this article for later? Click the heart in the bottom right corner to save to your own articles box!

In its widest meaning, the irony is a rhetorical flourish, literary method, or incident in which something appears to be the situation or to be anticipated on the exterior contrasts dramatically from what is truly the case.

The irony is classified into three types: linguistic irony, situational irony, and dramatic irony. For prominence in the proclamation of a fact, linguistic, dramatic, and situational irony are frequently utilized.

Sarcasm is a sort of linguistic irony, but it is much more offensive and irritating. While the terms are frequently used interchangeably, there is a subtle but significant distinction between irony as well as sarcasm.

In a nutshell, linguistic irony occurs when you say something that contradicts what you truly intend.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonIronySarcasm
MeaningIrony is a rhetorical flourish, literary method, or incident in which something appears to be the situation or to be anticipated on the exterior contrasts dramatically from what is truly the case.Sarcasm is a sort of linguistic irony, but it is much more offensive and irritating. It is not used formally and can be offensive yet funny in situations.
EtymologyEarly 16th century (also denoting Socratic irony): via Latin from Greek eirōneia ‘simulated ignorance’Mid-16th century: from French sarcasme, possibly from late Greek sarkasmos via late Latin.
UsageIt can be used for multiple literary purposes and can be used sarcastically too.It is used usually to make fun of others or as comical dialogues in sit-coms and comedy literary art forms.
TypesThere are three types of Irony.There are seven types of sarcasms.
ExampleThere is a storm outside.“Ah, the weather totally is so good right now, I want to sing out loud”If something bad happened today.Self: Just a cherry on top of my lucky life!

What is Irony?

‘Think in the polar direction to retain irony’. The explanation for this is that irony is defined as when the reverse of what you expect occurs. It may seem a little perplexing, yet the irony is pretty simple to grasp.

For illustration, a stylist may be delivering a class on scissor safety when they mistakenly shave a client bald along the center of their head.

It’s ironic since it’s the polar opposite of what you’d anticipate in a clippers safety training.

The irony, in its broadest sense, is a provocative statement, literary approach, or occurrence in which what seems to be the circumstance or to be expected on the surface compares starkly with what is genuinely the case.

There are three sorts of irony: linguistic irony, situational or conditional irony, and dramatic irony. These types of ironies are regularly used to emphasize the revelation of truth.

The linguistic irony is indeed the act of speaking the inverse of what you intend. For instance, during a tornado or landslide, you would comment, ‘The weather is really beautiful right now.’

Dramatic irony, on the other hand, occurs when the audience is aware of something that the characters are unaware of. It works to build tension and hilarity by doing the reverse of what they expect.

What is Sarcasm?

Sarcasm would be the use of linguistic irony with both the purpose to offend and ridicule.

For example, if someone arrives at a site wearing a crushed and messed-up dress, stating “Oh, there is a new step towards being a fashion model!” is sarcasm since it draws attention to how horrible the garment appears on him or her.

The key distinction between irony and slick sarcasm is the aim.

Doesn’t verbal irony appear to be similar to sarcasm? Nevertheless, there is one significant distinction between verbal irony as well as sarcasm, and that is hostility and humiliation.

Sarcasm is a type of clever ridicule. As a result, it has a negative meaning, whereas verbal irony does not. It might be useful to compare the two to see the differences.

Irony – Mother says, ‘I quite appreciate footprints on my new floor carpet.

‘ Sarcasm – Mother-in-law telling the same mother, ‘That was a terrific choice of carpet for those boots,’ See how that’s ironic with rhetorical devices since unclean footsteps are never loved one a fresh floor carpet.

They are, on the contrary, frustrating and a shambles.

Main Differences Between Irony and Sarcasm

  1. Irony simply means the opposite of the fact whereas sarcasm means an offensive tone to mock someone.
  2. The irony is always used in sarcasm but not all sarcasm is used in ironies.
  3. Irony can be used to construct literary art and moral-based stories whereas sarcasm can only be helpful in sitcoms and argumentative conversations.
  4. Irony does not have a negative tone but sarcasm always has a negative tone.
  5. There are three distinct types of sarcasm whereas, there are seven types of ironies.
Difference Between Irony and Sarcasm
  1. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/irony
  2. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/sarcasm
One request?

I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to you. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media or with your friends/family. SHARING IS ♥️

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *