mas·​och·​is·​tic ˌma-sə-ˈki-stik How to pronounce masochistic (audio)
 also  ˌmā-
: of or relating to masochism : deriving sexual gratification from being subjected to physical pain or humiliation
… suggests that children whose parents spanked, slapped, hit or threw objects at them may have a greater chance of physically or verbally coercing a sexual partner, engaging in risky sexual behavior or engaging in masochistic sex, including sexual arousal by spanking.Sharon Jayson
: gaining pleasure from pain and suffering
… a physically daring scene that might give even the most masochistic stuntperson pause.Steve Daly
It may seem masochistic to devote one's life to the pursuit of a vanishing asset.Robert O. Paxton
ˌma-sə-ˈki-sti-k(ə-)lē How to pronounce masochistic (audio)
 also  ˌmā-
… certain maddening folks who go through life masochistically seeking to be disillusioned and disappointed. Daniel Seligman

Examples of masochistic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This mix of guilt, horror, and apprehension is exactly the self-destructive bent of masochistic progressives. Armond White, National Review, 20 Mar. 2024 To me, Tommy’s response to trauma is both masochistic and sadistic. Rob Tannenbaum, New York Times, 23 Mar. 2024 The Consumer Guide is one of the great masochistic acts of criticism ever perpetuated. Tricia Romano, Rolling Stone, 2 Mar. 2024 Instead, the film locates its heart of darkness squarely in the human world, especially when Chloe gets drawn into a sexualized friendship with Tyler’s buddy, played with deceptive masochistic creepiness by West Mullholland. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 20 Jan. 2024 To voluntarily advertise the minutiae of your life online, and then, in the same breath, defend against the potential backlash—that is the masochistic agony of posting! Rachel Sugar, Bon Appétit, 7 Dec. 2023 More than three years after its initial release, the masochistic psychodrama that is Hades still has the gaming community in a kinky stranglehold — so much so that Netflix is getting in on the action. Vulture, 11 Nov. 2023 Factor in Lexan polycarbonate windows, thinner carpets, and an almost masochistic lack of luxuries (electric air-con is the only concession to comfort) and the 912c tips the scales at a mere 1,650 pounds. Tim Pitt, Robb Report, 11 July 2023 The economy stutters on, hampered by the needless, masochistic consequences of Brexit. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, 21 July 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'masochistic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


masochist + -ic entry 1, after German masochistisch

First Known Use

1892, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of masochistic was in 1892

Dictionary Entries Near masochistic

Cite this Entry

“Masochistic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2024.

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