Advanced and Proficiency Vocabulary for Exams(e.g.GRE, Banks, Civil Services, SAT / LSAT). For IELTS/TOEFL, and everyday spoken vocabulary, go to our Spoken Vocabulary Database.

wry | wryly

wry wryly
showing that you find a bad situation slightly funny
  • How to Memorize
    • wry - sarcastic
  • Analysis

    The original meaning of the word ‘wry’ was to refer to something bent or twisted. It has now been adapted refer to something, such as a sense of humour, that is somewhat twisted or a little unconventional. This typically takes the form of being mockingly clever or grimly humorous in difficult situations. It can be used in both a positive and negative context.

  • Exam DBSpoken DBOther
  • Example(s)
    1. Despite how awful the situation was, Jane allowed herself a wry smile and said: “Well at least it can’t get any worse!”.

    2. I was extremely embarrassed by my poor attempt at a speech at the time, but I can laugh wryly about it now. I don’t think they’ll be asking me to give another talk any time soon!

    3. I made a couple of wry observations during the meeting but they did not go down well. The directors were in no mood for joking.