\ˈsas \

Definition of sass 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 informal

a : impudent speech : back talk She takes no sass from her students.

b : bold rudeness or impertinence especially when considered playful, appealing, or courageous It is all dished out by combat-ready waitresses whose borscht belt sass lends extra spice to the meal.— Jane and Michael Stern … Ferraro showed off her sass. She critiqued President Reagan by name with a series of crowd pleasing one-liners.— Kathy Kiely

2 informal : an appealingly exciting, lively, or spirited quality …Mick Jagger's recent solo may be high on style and sass, but it's tough to beat Talk Is Cheap for real primitive cool.— David Fricke As they have for a decade, the international wealthy favor New York City for its comparative safety and social sass.— J. D. Reed Like a vintage jazz tune, fine Scotch delivers smooth flavor and sass.— Audarshia Townsend


sassed; sassing; sasses

Definition of sass (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to talk impudently or disrespectfully to

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Examples of sass in a Sentence


an old-fashioned diner where getting sass from the waitstaff is part of the experience


He got drunk and sassed a cop.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Some had signs or T-shirts with messages of tolerance or sass, including one of President Vladimir Putin of Russia holding a rainbow. Vanessa Gera,, "Gay pride parade turnout defies conservative trend in Europe," 9 June 2018 Whatever the reason, Blue Ivy showed off a new side to her sass last night. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Blue Ivy Told Beyoncé and JAY-Z to Stop Clapping and a Meme Was Born," 29 Jan. 2018 Just as reactions were mixed to IHOP's original name change, there has also been a variety of comments with this switch back, ranging from appreciation to sass. Ben Tobin, USA TODAY, "IHOP changes name back from IHOb," 9 July 2018 The seven-minute video, found on Facebook and YouTube, is a fever dream of sugar and sass, challenging the Fab Five to create cupcake versions of their co-stars. Joseph Hernandez,, "This 7-minute 'Queer Eye' and 'Nailed It' mashup is all you need in your life," 29 June 2018 Rudd is a winning combination of sass and sincerity. Graeme Mcmillan, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Ant-Man and The Wasp': What the Critics Are Saying," 27 June 2018 If Friedenberg begins the play with refreshing pluck and sass for a part usually played for woebegone submission, her Ophelia goes jarringly musical theater in her own scene of madness. Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle, "Youth gives some new energy to Marin Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet,’ but not enough," 2 June 2018 Jenkins: Her style is elegance and class mixed with excellence and sass. Matthew J. Palm,, "Broadway performers salute Ella Fitzgerald with the Philharmonic," 18 Apr. 2018 Chrisley Knows Best is soon to return — serving up lots of laughter, Southern sass and more Todd Chrisley one-liners. Natalie Stone,, "Southern Sass and Passing Gas! Watch the Hilarious Chrisley Knows Best Season 6 Trailer," 12 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Here, Prince Harry was captured sassing photographers while getting out of a car to visit the hospital after his cousin, Princess Beatrice of York, was born in 1988. Lyndsey Matthews, Town & Country, "Princess Charlotte Channeled Prince Harry at the Royal Wedding," 19 May 2018 Although Archie’s a little shaking at the start of this number (think Zac Efron at the beginning of High School Musical), Betty takes over and uses it as an opportunity to apologize to Veronica after publicly sassing her a few minutes prior. Gianluca Russo, Teen Vogue, "The "Riverdale" Musical Numbers, Ranked," 19 Apr. 2018 An entertaining Twitter account, in which Daniels often and humorously sassed back at the name callers, recently went private. Jean Marbella,, "A Stormy front is coming: Trump might try to silence Daniels, but she'll bare all in Baltimore," 19 Apr. 2018 Lewis also sassed and snarled at critics and interviewers who displeased him. Lindsey Bahr, Esquire, "Jerry Lewis, Comedy Legend and Tireless Telethon Host, Dies at 91," 20 Aug. 2017 Things like negging bosses, sassing bartenders, writing off-the-rails emotional emails to men who didn’t care about me—these used to be core parts of my personality. Meaghan O'connell, Longreads, "Girl Wonder," 20 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sass.' 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 sass


1835, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1856, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sass


alteration of sauce entry 1

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Statistics for sass

Last Updated

19 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sass

The first known use of sass was in 1835

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More Definitions for sass



English Language Learners Definition of sass

: to talk to (someone) in a rude way that does not show proper respect


\ˈsas \

Kids Definition of sass

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a rude or disrespectful reply


sassed; sassing

Kids Definition of sass (Entry 2 of 2)

: to speak to in a rude or disrespectful way

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one that holds something together

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