Understatement

Definition:
This literary device refers to the practice of drawing attention to a fact that is already obvious and noticeable. Understating a fact is usually done by way of sarcasm, irony, wryness or any other form of dry humor. Understating something is akin to exaggerating its obviousness as a means of humor.

Example:
The phrase, “Oh! I wonder if he could get any later; I am free all day long”. Said in a sarcastic tone it indicates that the speaker obviously means the opposite of the literal meaning.

One thought on “Understatement”

  1. Example from Sylvia Waugh’s book “Earthborn”

    The girl in the novel has found out that she is an alien and her parents are taking her soon to her “home planet.” She runs away and the police officer investigating the incident says that “[teens] overreact” when they are confronted with a family move.”

    Obvious to the reader, moving to another town is nothing like moving to another planet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.