ETYM Latin satira, satura, from satura (sc. lanx) a dish filled with various kinds of fruits, food composed of various ingredients, a mixture, a medley, from satur full of food, sated, from sat, satis, enough: cf. French satire. Related to Sate, Sad, Saturate.
A lterary or dramatic composition subjecting vice or folly to ridicule; a keen or severe exposure of what in public or private morals deserves rebuke.
Literary or dramatic work that ridicules human pretensions or exposes social evils. Satire is related to parody in its intention to mock, but satire tends to be more subtle and to mock an attitude or a belief, whereas parody tends to mock a particular work (such as a poem) by imitating its style, often with purely comic intent.
The Roman poets Juvenal and Horace wrote Satires, and the form became popular in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries, used by Voltaire in France and by Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift in England. Both satire and parody are designed to appeal to the intellect rather than the emotions and both, to be effective, require a knowledge of the original attitude, person, or work that is being mocked (although much satire, such as Gulliver’s Travels by Swift, can also be enjoyed simply on a literal level).