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Definition understated humor — often sarcastic or ironic — often expressed by twisting the face

or (more rarely):  a facial expression showing displeasure

Much more rarely, in classic literature, wry can mean "bent to one side" as in "She had a wry neck."
  •   "Do you know how lucky you are?"
      She smiled rather wryly. "Not most of the time."
    Madeleine L'Engle  --  A Wrinkle in Time
wryly = with ironic humor in an understated way
  • And his father, with his squinty gaze, his wry humor.
    Khaled Hosseini  --  A Thousand Splendid Suns
  • wry = understated
  • Why did Judith have to remind her? Kit thought wryly.
    Elizabeth George Speare  --  The Witch of Blackbird Pond
  • wryly = annoyed or unhappy
  • Atticus smiled wryly.
    Harper Lee  --  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • wryly = expressing a sense of irony
  • Then, giving it up, he smiled wryly from the corner of his mouth.
    Daniel Keyes  --  Flowers for Algernon — Novel
  • wryly = in a sarcastic or displeased manner
  • The pipe stem anchored a wry grin.
    Jerry Spinelli  --  Stargirl
  • wry = understated humor — often sarcastic or ironic — often expressed by twisting the face

    or (more rarely):  a facial expression showing displeasure
  • "The thing seems to break down every couple minutes." He cracked a wry smile. "Of course, I hear we might run out of light bulbs before that, and then it won't matter if the generator works or not."
    Jeanne DuPrau  --  The City of Ember
  • wry = understated ironic humor
  • He was famous, he thought wryly, but not in the way he'd wanted.
    Jeanne DuPrau  --  The City of Ember
  • wryly = in a humorously ironic way
  • He gestured slightly with one finger, and Meg and Calvin were released. "Thanks," Calvin said wryly.
    Madeleine L'Engle  --  A Wrinkle in Time
  • wryly = showing annoyance in an understated way
  • Then he smiled a faint, wry, bitter smile.
    Richard Wright  --  Native Son
  • "Well, I'm popular with the general public," she said wryly.
    Kenneth Oppel  --  Airborn
  • Grey's men," he said, wryly.
    Robert Cormier  --  I Am the Cheese
  • "I think you are safe from physical attack," said Eddis wryly.
    Megan Whalen Turner  --  Queen of Attolia
  • The other young Pimas, when they broke their usual stoicism, liked to rib Ira in the wry, almost mocking style that flavored their culture's humor.
    James Bradley  --  Flags of Our Fathers
  • "To be honest," says Luke, with a wry smile, "I'm not sure I'll be representing Flagstaff Life any more after this."
    Sophie Kinsella  --  Confessoins of a Shopaholic
  • "Now I will be glad if I can go to the cottage this summer," he said, and there was a wry smile on his lips.
    Chaim Potok  --  The Chosen
  • His sword, he thought wryly.
    Ted Dekker  --  Black: The Birth of Evil
  • Irony—sometimes comic, sometimes tragic, sometimes wry or perplexing—provides additional richness to the literary dish.
    Thomas C. Foster  --  How to Read Literature Like a Professor
  • "Congratulations," she says wryly.
    Veronica Roth  --  Insurgent
  • He spoke wryly on subjects like Jacqueline Susann's adoration of Ethel Merman.
    Alice Sebold  --  Lucky

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