sa·​do·​mas·​och·​ism ˌsā-(ˌ)dō-ˈma-sə-ˌki-zəm How to pronounce sadomasochism (audio)
: the derivation of sexual gratification from the infliction of physical pain or humiliation either on another person or on oneself compare masochism, sadism
sadomasochist noun or adjective
sadomasochistic adjective

Examples of sadomasochism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web So, bondage, sadomasochism, fetishes, and role play are examples of kinks, and these aren’t fringe penchants. R. O. Kwon, TIME, 17 May 2024 Until 2013, sadomasochism, along with fetishism, was pathologized as a mental illness in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or the DSM—a ruling with legal implications for jobs, parental rights. R. O. Kwon, TIME, 17 May 2024 The recipient of much of Belichick’s sadomasochism was Brady, who evolved from a skinny kid no one wanted to an NFL legend, perhaps the best there ever was, with a series of increasingly interesting rock-star haircuts. Stephen Rodrick, Variety, 13 Mar. 2024 Both authors redirected violence onto their partners: Fanon publicly struck his wife and Fleming practiced sadomasochism. Daniel Immerwahr, The New Yorker, 8 Jan. 2024 Cronenberg’s most recent project is Crimes of the Future, a jaw-dropping exploration of sadomasochism and body modification. Geek's Guide To The Galaxy, WIRED, 3 Nov. 2023 In the world of bondage, discipline, sadomasochism — BDSM — submissives don’t ask questions. Teri Figueroa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Sep. 2023 Models of addiction, madness, and sadomasochism were as available to the young Williams as the works of Milton, Dickens, and Shakespeare were. Casey Cep, The New Yorker, 3 July 2023 The awful sadomasochism of the moment is that what starts as a hug is a trap, once Roman realizes what Kendall is doing — that this hug is actually to tear those stitches apart. Ethan Shanfeld, Variety, 30 May 2023

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

Word History


International Scientific Vocabulary sadism + -o- + masochism

First Known Use

1919, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sadomasochism was in 1919

Dictionary Entries Near sadomasochism

Cite this Entry

“Sadomasochism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition


sa·​do·​mas·​och·​ism ˌsād-(ˌ)ō-ˈmas-ə-ˌkiz-əm How to pronounce sadomasochism (audio) ˌsad- How to pronounce sadomasochism (audio)
: the derivation of pleasure from the infliction of physical or mental pain either on others or on oneself

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