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adj. wri·er (rī′ər), wri·est (rī′ĭst) or wry·er or wry·est
1. Funny in an understated, sarcastic, or ironic way: a wry sense of humor.
2. Temporarily twisted in an expression of distaste or displeasure: made a wry face.
3. Archaic Abnormally twisted or bent to one side; crooked: a wry nose.

[From Middle English wrien, to turn, from Old English wrīgian; see wer- in Indo-European roots.]

wry′ly adv.
wry′ness n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in classic literature ?
Though Mr Rugg saw plainly there was no preventing this from being done, still the wryness of his face and the uneasiness of his limbs so sorely required the propitiation of a Protest, that he made one.
Through recollections of villagers who view Jacques-FranAs.ois's work as evidence of spying, sorcery, thievery, or government interference, the period is captured with appealing wryness.
Discussing Craig's Bond, she said: "When I saw his Bond for the first time, there was a wryness to his performance I really loved, so I was really excited about writing dialogue for him.
Unfortunately for us, there is a particularly Ukrainian wryness in Maljartschuk's prose that is funnier in the original than it is in English.
Oscar Levant, whose verbal wryness was famous, used the model of fascism to image the modern conductor's power trip: "Such a conductor invariably enters unexpectedly ...
This poetic strategy works well in Ferry's translations of Virgil's pastoral poetry, and even more effectively in his translations of Horace's Odes and Epistles, beautifully capturing the Roman poet's wryness and conversational tone.
Its occasional attempts at wryness result in a choking dryness, with the only levity coming from the arrival of a green and gullible cousin, Greg (Nicholas Braun), who attempts to ingratiate his way into this inner circle of snakes.
He's a romantic--his wife, Martha, to whom his memoir At the Strangers' Gate: Arrivals in New York is dedicated, is described with a disarming mixture of wryness and adoration--and he is frequently a cynic and a sentimentalist within the span of a few paragraphs.
"As I talk about my childhood trauma," Theron said, shifting back into wryness, "let me just name-drop."
(42) The comparison is apt, for More's classic comedic fantasy confronted the follies and injustices of sixteenth-century Europe not with the bitter and abrasive satire of a Juvenal (or for that matter a Swift) but with the milder wryness of a Horace and the playful outlandishness of a Lucian.
In (3) we also introduced the stretch tensor [[epsilon].sub.ij] and the wryness tensor [[kappa].sub.ij] given by formulas
Asked about the report, I noted, with what I thought was some wryness, that I had learned that in Washington, if a report has the words "talking points" in a prominent place, it is not necessarily objective.