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 sardonic (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 Anything truly relevant about Otto Brües’s life is already present in Sander’s sardonic memorial. Christoph Irmscher, WSJ, "‘See/Saw’ Review: Every Picture Tells a Story," 30 Apr. 2021 Michelle Pfeiffer’s role as Frances Price, a sardonic widow and mother living out her dwindling inheritance in French Exit, is the finest characterization in any movie from 2020. Armond White, National Review, "Michelle Pfeiffer’s Lives Matter," 23 Apr. 2021 Matt solely knows Anna’s sardonic gay co-worker, Jules (Julio Torres), as the person who exchanges cold stares with him. Robert Daniels, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Ed Helms and Patti Harrison make a perfect platonic match in ‘Together Together’," 22 Apr. 2021 That’s when Regina’s sardonic sister (Wanda Skyes, the show’s co-creator) steps in and lets him and his reprobate pals have it. Jeanne Jakle, San Antonio Express-News, "New and returning spring TV shows to stream, including 'The Underground Railroad,' 'The Handmaid's Tale'," 21 Apr. 2021 Navalny has gained international notoriety for frequent sardonic, investigative reports that shine a light on corruption within the Russian government, specifically around the inner circle of President Vladimir Putin. Matthew Brown, USA TODAY, "'There will be consequences': National Security Advisor Sullivan warns of US retaliation if Kremlin critic Navalny dies," 19 Apr. 2021 Delivering an exaggerated, sardonic clap at his State of the Union address two months later. USA Today, "Exclusive: How Donald Trump upended Nancy Pelosi’s plans, then she unraveled his," 9 Apr. 2021 The sardonic lyrics of the Dead Kennedys made the band stand out amongst their dour punk contemporaries, as well as self-serious political bands influenced by DK like Rage Against the Machine. Kathryn Doyle, Vulture, "This Week in Comedy Podcasts: The Newcomers Tackle Tyler Perry," 18 Mar. 2021 This description is not entirely, or even mainly, sardonic. Nr Editors, National Review, "The Week," 18 Mar. 2021

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of sardonic was in 1638

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Statistics for sardonic

Last Updated

2 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sardonic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for sardonic



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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