sar·​cas·​tic | \ sär-ˈka-stik How to pronounce sarcastic (audio) \

Definition of sarcastic

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

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Other Words from sarcastic

sarcastically \ sär-​ˈka-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce sarcastically (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

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?”)

Examples of sarcastic in a Sentence

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 Cruz, ESPN, 18 Feb. 2002 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 Sullivan, New Republic, 4 Nov. 2002 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 Weekly, 24 Jan. 2000 her sarcastic comments that my singing reminded her of the time her dog was sick
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Recent Examples on the Web The accomplishment was met by loud and impressively sarcastic Bronx cheer from the remaining fans that hadn’t exited early with their bobbleheads. Ryan Divish, The Seattle Times, "How low can they go? Mariners embarrassed by Minnesota in 18-4 shellacking," 19 May 2019 The furor over the disinfectant comments, which the president later claimed were sarcastic, prompted deep anger last week. Peter Baker, New York Times, "Briefings Were ‘Not Worth the Time,’ Trump Said. But He Couldn’t Stay Away.," 27 Apr. 2020 Trump’s history of lying and being offensive — then attributing it to being sarcastic — has been long documented thanks to his Twitter account and countless video footage. Araceli Cruz,, "It’s Becoming Clear That Trump Doesn’t Know What Sarcasm Means," 25 Apr. 2020 In Washington, the infamously sarcastic Shkreli has remained the face of increasingly high drug costs. Riley Griffin,, "Martin Shkreli Sued Over Alleged Antitrust Violation in Drug Pricing," 27 Jan. 2020 Trump later stated that his comments were meant to be sarcastic. Claire Maldarelli, Popular Science, "The CDC just added six official COVID-19 symptoms," 27 Apr. 2020 The incredibly dark, raunchy, sarcastic jokes served with sugar. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Trixie Mattel is one of the most popular drag queens in the world. And it all started in Milwaukee.," 12 Feb. 2020 Gorsuch writes clear opinions that are easy to read, but without the sarcastic jabs and scornful put-downs that were characteristic of Scalia. David G. Savage, Los Angeles Times, "Justice Gorsuch book touts Scalia’s views and civility in the Trump era," 9 Sep. 2019 Matthew Perry Then: Leave it to Perry’s Chandler Bing to deliver a sarcastic remark or punch line, which would never fail in making us cackle uncontrollably. Grace Gavilanes,, "The Cast of Friends: Where Are They Now?," 22 Sep. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of sarcastic

1695, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sarcastic

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

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Time Traveler for sarcastic

Time Traveler

The first known use of sarcastic was in 1695

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Statistics for sarcastic

Last Updated

5 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sarcastic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for sarcastic


How to pronounce sarcastic (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sarcastic

: using or showing sarcasm


sar·​cas·​tic | \ sär-ˈka-stik How to pronounce sarcastic (audio) \

Kids Definition of sarcastic

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

Other Words from sarcastic

sarcastically \ -​sti-​kə-​lē \ adverb

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