sar·​cas·​tic | \sär-ˈka-stik \

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 \ 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

Contemporary, stylish, at the top of art and fashion, emotional, funny, sarcastic and unapologetic. Yerin Kim, Seventeen, "How "Crazy Rich Asians" Is Making History as a Romantic Comedy," 9 Aug. 2018 Regardless of my feelings about the situation, a sarcastic tweet is not the way to handle it. Aurelie Corinthios,, "Bachelor Alum Bekah Martinez Apologizes for Blasting Tia Booth & Colton Underwood: 'I Got Heated'," 20 June 2018 Long sent the sarcastic tweet with the intention of mocking people who criticize athletes for being weak or soft. Rob Tornoe,, "Eagles' Chris Long duped a lot of reporters and The Daily Caller on Twitter," 30 May 2018 That's right, the official debut of one of Marvel's most talkative and sarcastic characters began with that character not being able to speak. David Betancourt,, "'Deadpool 2's' brilliant post-credit scene, explained," 22 May 2018 Maarleveld, who was partially raised in New Zealand, offers up a natural-sounding Australian accent as Mrs. Bobs; most of the novel's humor, wry and sometimes sarcastic, comes through her observant eye. Rochelle O'gorman,, "With days like these, take time to listen and laugh," 24 Mar. 2018 Nirvana’s roaring disdain for the social hierarchies of Reagan-Bush America was conveyed both in Kurt Cobain’s sarcastic lyrics and in his onstage cross-dressing. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "What Linkin Park Gave to Pop Music," 25 June 2018 His stand-up act is family-friendly, centering on self-deprecating humor, sarcastic takes on daily life and physical comedy. Dan Kelly, kansascity, "KC events Jan. 11-17: Monster Jam, KC Restaurant Week, Criss Angel | The Kansas City Star," 8 Jan. 2018 The juxtaposition — robust muscleman and gawky fowl — is a wonderfully sarcastic rebuke to Plato’s description of humans as featherless bipeds. Christopher Knight,, "Out of the shadows and into the light: 'Chiaroscuro Woodcut' is a sleeper hit at LACMA," 5 July 2018

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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Statistics for sarcastic

Last Updated

21 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sarcastic

The first known use of sarcastic was in 1695

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More Definitions for sarcastic



English Language Learners Definition of sarcastic

: using or showing sarcasm


sar·​cas·​tic | \sär-ˈka-stik \

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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Comments on sarcastic

What made you want to look up sarcastic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


living or existing for a long time

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