adjective sar·cas·tic \ sär-ˈka-stik \
Updated on: 15 Mar 2018

Definition of sarcastic

1 : having the character of sarcasm
  • sarcastic criticism
2 : given to the use of sarcasm : caustic
  • a sarcastic critic


play \sär-ˈka-sti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of sarcastic in a Sentence

  1. DeWitt is everything Shea is not. And Shea quickly felt DeWitt's contempt. "Lincoln is loud," Jim says. "He makes sarcastic comments because he has to call attention to himself all the time. Some people are insecure because they haven't established themselves yet." —Anne Marie CruzESPN18 Feb. 2002
  2. Close on the heels of "Millionaire" came "The Weakest Link," which added a new wrinkle (subsequently picked up by "American Idol"): Its British host, Anne Robinson, was presented not as a genteel, erudite tutor but rather as a rude, sarcastic jerk. —Andrew SullivanNew Republic4 Nov. 2002
  3. Frank evokes the eccentric Hamilton family and their feisty Gullah housekeeper with originality and conviction; Susan herself—smart, sarcastic, funny and endearingly flawed—makes a lively and memorable narrator. Publishers Weekly24 Jan. 2000
  4. her sarcastic comments that my singing reminded her of the time her dog was sick

Recent Examples of sarcastic from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sarcastic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

snarky vs. sarcastic

Some have questioned whether snarky is a real word. There can be no doubt that it is; the adjective has been recorded in English since 1906. Its original meaning, “crotchety, snappish,” has largely been overtaken, however, by the far more frequently-encountered sense “sarcastic, impertinent or irreverent.” The precise difference between utterances described as sarcastic and snarky will vary somewhat based on the individual using each word. Some feel that sarcastic usually implies irony, or stating the opposite of what is really intended (for example, “thank you so much for your promptness” spoken to someone who arrives late), whereas snarky implies simple impertinence or irreverence (as when Downton Abbey's Dowager Countess asks Isobel Crawley, “does it ever get cold on the moral high ground?”)

Origin and Etymology of sarcastic

sarc(asm) + -astic, by analogy with other Greek-derived words where the suffixes -asm and -astic imply one another (as enthusiasm, enthusiastic

Synonym Discussion of sarcastic

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

SARCASTIC Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of sarcastic for English Language Learners

  • : using or showing sarcasm

SARCASTIC Defined for Kids


adjective sar·cas·tic \ sär-ˈka-stik \

Definition of sarcastic for Students

1 : showing sarcasm
  • a sarcastic reply
2 : being in the habit of using sarcasm
  • a sarcastic person


\-sti-kə-lē\ adverb

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mournful or dismal

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