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

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 Her work lacks the cynicism of more sardonic writers, like Stephen Malkmus or Frank Black. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, "The Strange Poignancy of Courtney Barnett’s Minutiae," 14 May 2018 Everyone should be terrified of these things!) and Daniella Pineda as a sardonic paleo-veterinarian. Richard Lawson, HWD, "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," 5 June 2018 Where Desi Lee was a list-making overachiever, Clara Shin is a sardonic slacker for whom effort is the ultimate sin. Katie Ward Beim-esche, The Christian Science Monitor, "'The Way You Make Me Feel' follows a teen's journey from 'chill' to sincere," 16 May 2018 Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Killing Eve’s show-runner and the creator and star of Fleabag, won everyone over as the sardonic, outspoken, and emotionally compelling newcomer droid L3-37. Joanna Robinson, HWD, "Solo Premiere: How the Mysterious Star Wars Spinoff Played to Its First Audience," 11 May 2018 Pascal claims to be descended from Norman noblemen, though nobility isn’t the first thing called to mind by this sardonic handyman with rough hands and bedroom eyes. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Beast’ Review: In Hot Pursuit of Love and Danger," 9 May 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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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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Comments on sardonic

What made you want to look up sardonic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a state of commotion or excitement

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