1867 edition of Punch, a ground-breaking British magazine of popular humour, including a great deal of satire of the contemporary, social, and political scene.

In fiction and less frequently in non-fiction, satire is a genre of literature and performing arts, in which vices, follies, abuses and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, corporations, government, or society itself into improvement.[1] Although satire is usually meant to be humorous, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit to draw attention to both particular and wider issues in society.

A feature of satire is strong irony or sarcasm—"in satire, irony is militant"[2][3]—but parody, burlesque, exaggeration,[4] juxtaposition, comparison, analogy, and double entendre are all frequently used in satirical speech and writing. This "militant" irony or sarcasm often professes to approve of (or at least accept as natural) the very things the satirist wishes to question.

Satire is nowadays found in many artistic forms of expression, including internet memes, literature, plays, commentary, television shows, and media such as lyrics.

Etymology and roots

The word satire comes from the Latin word satur and the subsequent phrase lanx satura. Satur meant "full" but the juxtaposition with lanx shifted the meaning to "miscellany or medley": the expression lanx satura literally means "a full dish of various kinds of fruits".[5]

The word satura as used by Quintilian, however, was used to denote only Roman verse satire, a strict genre that imposed hexameter form, a narrower genre than what would be later intended as satire.[5][6] Quintilian famously said that satura, that is a satire in hexameter verses, was a literary genre of wholly Roman origin (satura tota nostra est). He was aware of and commented on Greek satire, but at the time did not label it as such, although today the origin of satire is considered to be Aristophanes' Old Comedy. The first critic to use the term "satire" in the modern broader sense was Apuleius.[5]

To Quintilian, the satire was a strict literary form, but the term soon escaped from the original narrow definition. Robert Elliott writes:

As soon as a noun enters the domain of metaphor, as one modern scholar has pointed out, it clamours for extension; and satura (which had had no verbal, adverbial, or adjectival forms) was immediately broadened by appropriation from the Greek word for “satyr” (satyros) and its derivatives. The odd result is that the English “satire” comes from the Latin satura; but "satirize", "satiric", etc., are of Greek origin. By about the 4th century AD the writer of satires came to be known as satyricus; St. Jerome, for example, was called by one of his enemies 'a satirist in prose' ('satyricus scriptor in prosa'). Subsequent orthographic modifications obscured the Latin origin of the word satire: satura becomes satyra, and in England, by the 16th century, it was written 'satyre.'[1]

The word satire derives from satura, and its origin was not influenced by the Greek mythological figure of the satyr.[7] In the 17th century, philologist Isaac Casaubon was the first to dispute the etymology of satire from satyr, contrary to the belief up to that time.[8]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Satire
العربية: هجاء (أدب)
asturianu: Sátira
azərbaycanca: Satira
تۆرکجه: طنز
Bân-lâm-gú: Khau-sé
башҡортса: Сатира
беларуская: Сатыра
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Сатыра
български: Сатира
bosanski: Satira
brezhoneg: Flemmskrid
català: Sàtira
čeština: Satira
Cymraeg: Dychan
dansk: Satire
Deutsch: Satire
eesti: Satiir
Ελληνικά: Σάτιρα
español: Sátira
Esperanto: Satiro
euskara: Satira
فارسی: طنز
français: Satire
Frysk: Satire
furlan: Satire
galego: Sátira
한국어: 풍자
հայերեն: Երգիծանք
Արեւմտահայերէն: Երգիծանք
हिन्दी: कटूपहास
hrvatski: Satira
Ido: Satiro
Bahasa Indonesia: Satire
italiano: Satira
עברית: סאטירה
ಕನ್ನಡ: ವಿಡಂಬನೆ
ქართული: სატირა
қазақша: Сатира
Кыргызча: Сатира
Latina: Satura
latviešu: Satīra
Lëtzebuergesch: Satir
lietuvių: Satyra
Limburgs: Satire
magyar: Szatíra
македонски: Сатира
Bahasa Melayu: Satira
Nederlands: Satire
日本語: 風刺
norsk: Satire
norsk nynorsk: Satire
occitan: Satira
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Satira
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਵਿਅੰਗ
polski: Satyra
português: Sátira
română: Satiră
русиньскый: Сатіра
русский: Сатира
саха тыла: Сатира
sicilianu: Sàtira
Simple English: Satire
سنڌي: طنز
slovenčina: Satira
slovenščina: Satira
کوردی: تیز
српски / srpski: Сатира
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Satira
suomi: Satiiri
svenska: Satir
Tagalog: Satira
தமிழ்: அங்கதம்
Türkçe: Hiciv
українська: Сатира
Tiếng Việt: Châm biếm
中文: 讽刺