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

Other Words from sarcastic

sarcastically \ sär-​ˈka-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce sarcastic (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
Recent Examples on the Web Borcherding addressed the possibility that a student could have been responsible for Brophy’s death, saying his teaching style — which was at times sarcastic and dismissive — could have set off a pupil. oregonlive, 9 Apr. 2022 This year’s whodunit explores the death of comedy, and the suspects are the types of comedy, including stand-up, sarcastic, slapstick, memes, dark, and improv comedy - as well as dad jokes - represented by a trio of characters. Steve Smith,, 17 Mar. 2022 The Shanghai party committee’s letter was trending on Chinese social media on Thursday, eliciting sarcastic comments from internet users., 7 Apr. 2022 Before the event, a steady flow of sarcastic comments evidenced a cynical atmosphere. Leah Dolan, CNN, 30 Mar. 2022 After the two hilariously went back and forth on the topic, Steve settled the matter with one of his signature sarcastic comments. Katherine Tinsley, Good Housekeeping, 15 Mar. 2022 For four years, irritable and sarcastic Abby Binder has kept a room to herself at the Bristol Place Senior Living Facility. Luann Gibbs, The Enquirer, 20 Mar. 2022 Winter is best known for her role as Alex Dunphy, the studious and sarcastic middle child of the Dunphy family, in ABC's Emmy-winning comedy series Modern Family, which bowed in 2020 after 11 seasons. Jessica Wang,, 7 Mar. 2022 The Fitch of the 1970s could be sarcastic and demanding. Terry Pluto, cleveland, 3 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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)

Learn More About sarcastic

Time Traveler for sarcastic

Time Traveler

The first known use of sarcastic was in 1695

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near sarcastic




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for sarcastic

Last Updated

9 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sarcastic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for sarcastic


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

More from Merriam-Webster on sarcastic

Nglish: Translation of sarcastic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sarcastic for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Color

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!