sar·​don·​ic | \ sär-ˈdä-nik How to pronounce sardonic (audio) \

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 How to pronounce sardonically (audio) \ 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

The show follows Jen, a sardonic widow determined to solve her husband's recent hit-and-run murder, and Judy, an optimistic free spirit who's recently suffered her own tragic loss. Joe Otterson,, "'Dead to Me' renewed for Season 2 at Netflix," 4 June 2019 In what would become her final interview, Radziwill—forever elegant with exacting taste and a sardonic wit—talked to Bazaar about everything from her biggest influence to her favorite book. Deborah Needleman, Harper's BAZAAR, "Lee Radziwill's Last Interview," 20 Feb. 2019 The always sardonic Aubrey Plaza shows up to chats with Mr. Colbert — as does Cookie Monster. Andrew R. Chow, New York Times, "What’s on TV Friday: ‘Lost in Space’ and ‘Chef’s Table’," 13 Apr. 2018 Directed by the sardonic Greek Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster) and boasting crackerjack performances by its three female leads (Colman is indelible), this gleefully nasty fable offers comedy as black as a dungeon. John Powers, Vogue, "These Were 2018’s 12 Best Movies," 12 Dec. 2018 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

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

9 Jun 2019

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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

formal : 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

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