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adjective sar·don·ic \sär-ˈdä-nik\

Simple Definition of sardonic

  • : showing that you disapprove of or do not like someone or something : showing disrespect or scorn for someone or something

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of sardonic

  1. :  disdainfully or skeptically humorous :  derisively mocking <a sardonic comment>


play \-ni-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of sardonic in a sentence

  1. “The Great War,” used interchangeably with “the First World War” (so named in 1918 by a sardonic English journalist, who knew it would not be the last such conflict) … —Benjamin Schwarz, Atlantic, May 1999

  2. They have that brand of sardonic humor special to people up against it: black and wry and shocking … —Doris Lessing, New Yorker, 16 Mar. 1987

  3. In a story by Flaubert, this spreading of cloths to save the carpet would be observed with a sardonic eye; in Lawrence it is bleakly practical. —Hugh Kenner, A Sinking Island, 1987

  4. The movie is a sardonic look at modern life.

  5. <a sardonic little jab that made her visitor quiet and subdued for the rest of the night>

Origin and Etymology of sardonic

French sardonique, from Greek sardonios

First Known Use: 1638

Synonym Discussion of sardonic

sarcastic, satiric, ironic, sardonic mean marked by bitterness and a power or will to cut or sting. sarcastic implies an intentional inflicting of pain by deriding, taunting, or ridiculing <a critic known for his sarcastic remarks>. satiric implies that the intent of the ridiculing is censure and reprobation <a satiric look at contemporary society>. ironic implies an attempt to be amusing or provocative by saying usually the opposite of what is meant <made the ironic observation that the government could always be trusted>. sardonic implies scorn, mockery, or derision that is manifested by either verbal or facial expression <surveyed the scene with a sardonic smile>.

Seen and Heard

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of, relating to, or near a shore

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