adjective sar·don·ic \ sär-ˈdä-nik \
|Updated on: 18 Aug 2018

Definition of sardonic

: disdainfully or skeptically humorous : derisively mocking
  • a sardonic comment


play \sär-ˈdä-ni-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of sardonic in a Sentence

  1. "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 SchwarzAtlanticMay 1999
  2. They have that brand of sardonic humor special to people up against it: black and wry and shocking … —Doris LessingNew Yorker16 Mar. 1987
  3. 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 KennerA Sinking Island1987
  4. The movie is a sardonic look at modern life.

  5. a sardonic little jab that made her visitor quiet and subdued for the rest of the night

Recent Examples of sardonic from the Web

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Origin and Etymology of sardonic

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

SARDONIC Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of sardonic for English Language Learners

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

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very hard to disturb or upset

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