sa·​dis·​tic sə-ˈdi-stik How to pronounce sadistic (audio)
 also  sā-,
 or  sa-
: of, relating to, or characterized by sadism
sadistic fantasies
: taking pleasure in the infliction of pain, punishment, or humiliation on others
a leg … sawed off in sections by a sadistic surgeonThe New Yorker
For my 41st birthday, an especially sadistic buddy gave me a video of me falling off my skateboard nearly 160 times.Bret Anthony Johnston
sə-ˈdi-sti-k(ə-)lē How to pronounce sadistic (audio)
 also  sā-
 or  sa-
… in a gangster story realism requires that the hoods kill each other off and do so sadistically. Robert F. Moss

Examples of sadistic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Amidst the movie’s various prison breaks (including one Nazi guard game sadistic enough to anticipate Sophie’s Choice), Gerbier gathers the titular cadre of allies to carry out his daring missions. Dennis Perkins,, 5 Apr. 2024 His internal monologue is like my internal monologue, this sadistic version of you and God that is somehow meaner than both. Hazlitt, 3 Apr. 2024 All will no doubt be given sadistic, murderous twists. Alex Ritman, Variety, 28 Mar. 2024 With its sadistic violence, taboo sexuality, and grim depiction of postwar London, Peeping Tom was a flop that essentially ended the illustrious career of director Michael Powell, falling into obscurity until Martin Scorsese rescued it and rehabilitated its reputation with a 1979 re-release. Katie Rife,, 12 Mar. 2024 Providing all the evil that one camp can handle is Al Swearengen (Ian McShane), the bullying, ruthless, sadistic owner of the town’s saloon, brothel and hotel. Barry Garron, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 Mar. 2024 The treatment, which sends electric currents through the brain to induce a brief seizure, has barbaric, inhumane connotations — for example, it was portrayed as a sadistic punishment in the film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Elizabeth Landau, Quanta Magazine, 18 Mar. 2024 And then, the face of Vladimir Putin of Russia twisted with sadistic glee in anticipation of the coming triumph going live on TV screens. TIME, 2 Mar. 2024 At one point in the new sci-fi sequel, Butler's villainous and sadistic character Feyd-Rautha receives a promotion of sorts from his uncle, Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Skarsgård). Benjamin Vanhoose, Peoplemag, 4 Mar. 2024

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

Word History

First Known Use

1892, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sadistic was in 1892

Dictionary Entries Near sadistic

Cite this Entry

“Sadistic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

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