sar·​don·​ic | \sär-ˈdä-nik \

Definition of sardonic 

: disdainfully or skeptically humorous : derisively mocking a sardonic comment

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Other Words from sardonic

sardonically \sär-​ˈdä-​ni-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for sardonic

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

Examples of sardonic in a Sentence

"The Great War," used interchangeably with "the First World War" (so named in 1918 by a sardonic English journalist, who knew it would not be the last such conflict) … — Benjamin Schwarz, Atlantic, May 1999 They have that brand of sardonic humor special to people up against it: black and wry and shocking … — Doris Lessing, New Yorker, 16 Mar. 1987 In a story by Flaubert, this spreading of cloths to save the carpet would be observed with a sardonic eye; in Lawrence it is bleakly practical. — Hugh Kenner, A Sinking Island, 1987 The movie is a sardonic look at modern life. a sardonic little jab that made her visitor quiet and subdued for the rest of the night
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Recent Examples on the Web

Throughout the work, Owen’s poetry and, often, Britten’s music offer sardonic commentary on the Latin text. Barbara Jepson, WSJ, "Benjamin Britten’s ‘War Requiem’ Review: Mixing Sacred and Secular," 30 Nov. 2018 James Gunn, the sardonic and openly vulgar writer/director behind both successful Guardians of the Galaxy films, has been removed from any future Marvel Studios projects, Disney confirmed on Friday. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Disney confirms Guardians director fired over years-old tweets," 20 July 2018 Esmail burst onto the scene in 2015 with his smart, sharply sardonic cyber-thriller Mr. Robot, which had a brilliantly tense first season. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "The Unsettling, Paranoia-Inducing Homecoming Is Your Next TV Binge," 2 Nov. 2018 The past few months have been a whirlwind for the actor, who is best known for playing the sardonic Rosa Diaz on Brooklyn Nine-Nine for five seasons. Ella Cerón, Teen Vogue, "Stephanie Beatriz on Brooklyn Nine-Nine's Second Life and Hollywood Still Not Getting Representation Right," 19 July 2018 The night before my uterus is removed, my nurse is a model-gorgeous woman, sardonic and odd, like the sidekick on a TV show who producers pretend is less stunning by slapping spectacles on her. Lena Dunham, Vogue, "In Her Own Words: Lena Dunham On Her Decision to Have A Hysterectomy at 31," 14 Feb. 2018 The marketplace of ideas becomes a battleground of brands, trademarks, images, sardonic hashtags. Sonia K. Katyal,, "The sudden rush of vulgar trademarks," 23 June 2018 Atlantic Ocean was recorded at Wilco’s Chicago loft and deftly blends his sardonic wit with electronics that poke and prod, more experimental in the mix than many could get away with. Will Schube, Billboard, "Richard Swift, Prolific Songwriter and Producer, Spent Life Searching for Perfect Sounds," 4 July 2018 Bourdain himself was a fascinating guide to these destinations—sardonic but genuinely engaged, well traveled but never weary, earnest but allergic to smarminess. Laura Bradley, HWD, "Anthony Bourdain Dead from Suicide at Age 61," 8 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sardonic.' 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 sardonic

1638, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sardonic

re-formation, with the suffix -ic entry 1, of earlier sardonian, from Greek sardónios, alteration (after Sardónios "Sardinian") of earlier sardánios "(of laughter or smiling) bitter, scornful" (of obscure origin) + -an entry 2

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Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for sardonic

The first known use of sardonic was in 1638

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English Language Learners Definition of sardonic

: showing that you disapprove of or do not like someone or something : showing disrespect or scorn for someone or something

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More from Merriam-Webster on sardonic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sardonic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sardonic

Spanish Central: Translation of sardonic

Nglish: Translation of sardonic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sardonic for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sardonic

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the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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