One of the most misused words in the entire English language.

There are several types of irony.

Socratic irony - When someone pretends to be naive about a certain subject, and uses his questions about it to point out a flaw in the established belief. This is often used on the TV show South Park, where the children often ask questions about a situation until the folly in a parent's decision becomes clear.

Sarcasm - Understatement, mocking overstatement, or heavy-handed irony (stating the flat opposite of the truth) where both parties are aware of the difference between what's said and what's actually happening.

Situational Irony - The irony that most people think of. A difference between what you expect to happen (in a story, for example) and what actually happens. Rain on your wedding day would be a sort-of example, because a wedding day is generally expected to be a perfect, happy day. The good advice you didn't take, however, would NOT be irony, because that has nothing to do with what is expected and what isn't expected. A traffic jam when you're already late wouldn't be irony either; there's no automatic expectation that traffic will be fine, just because you happen to be late.

Irony of Fate - The concept that the Gods, Fates, etc. are toying with humans for amusement by using irony. Beethoven's loss of hearing is a famous example; one would expect a composer to be able to hear his compositions, but fate denied him that ability.

Tragic (Dramatic) Irony - When the audience knows something that some of the characters don't know in a play/movie/novel/whatever. For example, when the horror flick psycho is in the house and the homeowner just goes in without suspecting anything.
So, yeah, Alanis was wrong in a lot of her song, but there ARE some examples of irony in there - and a few that are kinda-sorta, but could be better. The old man who buys a lottery ticket is one; it would be a better example if he won, and then died of a heart attack from the shock of winning.
by progamer124 December 16, 2004
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The use of words expressing something other than their literal intention
now THAT, is , Irony
by Nitsuj Repmek July 4, 2011
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The intentional or unintentional association of opposing concepts or actions; a subset of coincidence wherein the opposing nature of the actions or ideas is of particular interest.

In short: Juxtaposition that leads to a comedic or surprising effect.
Isn't it ironic that we park in a driveway and drive on a parkway?

Person A: The NRA just used Martin Luther King Jr. to promote gun ownership.

Person B: What irony, considering he died of a gunshot wound.

Person A: Hey! It's you! I haven't seen you since high-school! Is it ironic that we found each other?

Person B: No, that's actually just a regular coincidence. It would have been ironic if we ran into each other somewhere while both trying to avoid going to our high school reunion.

Person A: I remember why I stopped talking to you now.
by Cuddle-scut June 30, 2019
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Buring down your house with a cigarette while you attend a "Stop Smoking" meeting.
True Story of Irony (January 31, 2009)

A lit cigarette burned a home to the ground while its occupants were attending a meeting to help them quit smoking.

Officials determined the fire was started by a cigarette that had been left burning by the 80-year-old mother of the man who owns the mobile home in San Luis Obispo, California.

The butt was left on a porch table while the two left for a health department meeting to help the woman quit smoking.

The fire caused $200,000 worth of damage.
by Nightmare January 31, 2009
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A non-existent and fictitious quality, although commonly referenced. The non-existence of irony can be confirmed from the fact that, although standard reference dictionaries name definitions such as "an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected, and/or the incongruity of this," any use of the term "irony" or "ironic" in keeping with such definitions invariably provokes whinging to the effect that the label "irony" is misapplied in this instance. Since the appropriateness of any usage of the word "irony" under any circumstances will inevitably be contested, it can be safely assumed that the word does not properly describe anything, and thus that "irony" does not truly exist.
"It's ironic how Oedipus' parents abandoning him in the mountains to try and prevent him from fulfilling his destiny to kill his father and marry his mother made him a stranger to them and made it possible for him to actually do so, isn't it?"

(Extremely nasal voice) "Ex-CUSE me, that's not what 'irony' ACTUALLY mea...whoa! Wh-what are you doing with those hedge clippers...! AAAAAGGHGHHH!!!!!!!!"
by KadeAzkyroth August 3, 2010
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Telling the world you've built an unsinkable ship...only to have it sink on it's maiden voyage.
No example of Irony.
by AgentOfVirtue October 1, 2011
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The use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal intention.
by The Sloth May 21, 2008
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