Definition of sadism
sadistplay \ˈsā-dist, ˈsa-\ noun
sadisticplay \sə-ˈdis-tik also sā- or sa-\ adjective
sadisticallyplay \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
Examples of sadism in a Sentence
a troubled youth with a streak of sadism in him
Recent Examples of sadism from the Web
The crowd was utterly enamored with Hadreas, who is an extraordinary performer, slipping between angelic vulnerability, affirmative sadism, and a type of fifties-crooner cabaret.
BDSM is an acronym that stands for any or all of the following: bondage and discipline; dominance and submission; sadism and masochism.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sadism'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
What is the Difference Between the Words masochism & sadism?
Interestingly, both masochism and sadism are eponymous words. English has thousands of such words, taken from the names of people both real and fictional. Masochism comes from the name of the 19th century German novelist, Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. It is unusual in that it began to be used during the lifetime of the man from whom it originated (Sacher-Masoch died in 1895, and masochism had been in printed use since 1892). Sadism comes from the name of the French writer, the Marquis de Sade (1740-1814).
The two words are not only often encountered in connection with one another, they have been combined into a single word, sadomasochism.
Origin and Etymology of sadism
International Scientific Vocabulary, from Marquis de Sade
First Known Use: 1818See Words from the same year
SADISM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of sadism for English Language Learners
: enjoyment that someone gets from being violent or cruel or from causing pain; especially : sexual enjoyment from hurting or punishing someone
Medical Definition of sadism
sadistic\sə-ˈdis-tik also sā- or sa-\play adjective
Biographical Note for sadism
Sade \sȧd\play ,
Marquis de (Comte Donatien–Alphonse–François) (1740–1814), French soldier and writer. From the time that he was a young nobleman Sade consorted with prostitutes and developed a taste for sexual perversions. He was imprisoned on several occasions for his harsh abuse of prostitutes and gross licentiousness. After arriving at the Bastille in 1784 he began writing erotic novels in which he gave full expression to his sexual fantasies. His most famous novel was The Adversities of Virtue (1787). His works are known for their graphic descriptions of sexual perversions. His last years were spent in an insane asylum at Charenton, where he wrote plays for his fellow inmates to perform. His compulsion for physically and sexually abusing others gave rise to the concept of sadism.
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