Definition of sardonic
: disdainfully or skeptically humorous : derisively mocking a sardonic comment
sardonicallyplay \-ni-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
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
Recent Examples of sardonic from the Web
Benioff, who wears his hair in a Morrissey quiff, is the more sardonic one.
Allen’s long, ascetic face, with narrow eyes and raised eyebrows, lends him an expression of perpetual seriousness that belies his sardonic good humor.
His efforts to prove his point are illustrated in a series of vignettes that are alternately satiric and sad, sentimental and sardonic.
SOULWAX Three drummers slammed home the sheer overkill of Soulwax, a Belgian band with an aggressively sardonic attitude toward pop and technology.
Roy’s novel is marbled with mordant anecdotes and sardonic humor that hit their marks on the absurdity of nationalism, caste, fundamentalism, war, gender politics and the human condition.
The sardonic tones of the accompanying narration — voiced by someone whose identity will be revealed later on — are an early indication that Mr. Pitt may not be the hero of the story.
If this were a Hitchcock film, the shooting might put a sardonic cap on the drama.
In addition, an anachronistic and self-aware, sardonic humor (often barely above the level of a cheap TV sitcom) draws laughs but doesn't fit the period of the piece.
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.
Origin and Etymology of sardonic
French sardonique, from Greek sardonios
First Known Use: 1638See Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of sardonic
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
Seen and Heard
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