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 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
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Recent Examples on the Web The Roman governor addressing the Jewish street preacher is being sarcastic, or so the context of their exchange in the Gospel of John gives us reason to think. Nicholas Frankovich, National Review, "A Minor Grace of the Cross and Easter," 4 Apr. 2021 When Suárez successfully fielded a routine ground ball in the third inning, the GABP crowd responded with a sarcastic cheer. Bobby Nightengale, The Enquirer, "'We’ll be where we need to be': Reds not panicking after Opening Day struggles," 2 Apr. 2021 The sarcastic patriarch of a black family freely expresses his opinion of his daughter’s white boyfriend. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: ‘An American in Paris’; ‘Ben-Hur’," 26 Mar. 2021 And it’s what helped Walter make Lucille into something beyond a sarcastic cartoon holding a martini. James Poniewozik, New York Times, "Why Jessica Walter’s Pictures Said a Thousand Words," 25 Mar. 2021 The name is a sarcastic reclamation of the sentiment too many kids have heard from men like Coach T. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, "‘The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers’ Skates By on a Winning Formula," 24 Mar. 2021 Fortner, sarcastic or not, will have been right to express her gratitude. Mike Finger, San Antonio Express-News, "Finger: With newfound attention, NCAA blunders could lead to change," 23 Mar. 2021 In their initial interactions, Gainsbourg was sarcastic and disdainful. Washington Post, "Jane Birkin is back with a new album, but her presence is everlasting," 19 Mar. 2021 Six days later, based on a tweet thanking 'Bachelor' producers for their support that Taylor says was sarcastic, outlets including Fox News and U.S. Weekly reported that Taylor was in Washington that day. Mark Dunphy, San Antonio Express-News, "'Bachelorette' alum from Texas threatens defamation suit after reports he attended Capitol riot," 6 Mar. 2021

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

27 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sarcastic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for sarcastic



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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Comments on sarcastic

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