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


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sassed; sassing; sasses

transitive verb

: to talk impudently or disrespectfully to

Examples of sass in a Sentence

Noun an old-fashioned diner where getting sass from the waitstaff is part of the experience Verb He got drunk and sassed a cop.
Recent Examples on the Web
The wrap design flatters every figure, and the high-low V-neck adds just the right amount of sass. Mia Meltzer, Rolling Stone, 10 Nov. 2023 Perfect for those looking to add a dash of sass to their holiday attire. Mia Meltzer, Rolling Stone, 25 Oct. 2023 His wife, Missy, played by Heather Alicia Simms, turns classic one-dimensional stage sass into complicated warmth. Jesse Green, New York Times, 27 Sep. 2023 Well, mister, that kind of sass is a one-way ticket to Impeachmentville, population: you. Pat Cassels, The New Yorker, 6 Oct. 2023 Related Fans in the comments section were delighted by Gomez’s sarcasm, with several stating that the sass reminded them of her Wizards of Waverly Place character Alex Russo. Starr Bowenbank, Billboard, 22 Sep. 2023 Not because Jimmy responded with a perhaps accidental level of sass, but because of the metaphor buried within the dialogue. Kyler Alvord, Peoplemag, 15 Sep. 2023 Responding with a return volley of salt or sass may be tempting, but the best option is to smile and change the subject. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 28 Aug. 2023 With three card slots, a snap-fastening pocket, and a zipped pocket, Montblanc's Extreme 3.0 dons a whole lot of sass and utilities for all your capital-carrying needs. Christian Gollayan, Men's Health, 5 Dec. 2022
Often, vaudeville routines co-starred zany Hebrew comediennes, who sassed and scolded their counterparts, rebuffing Abie Cohen’s advances in favor of Irishmen or Italians. Jody Rosen, The New Yorker, 7 Oct. 2023 Jennie, Rosé, Jisoo and Lisa easily nailed a mix of Coachella cool and K-pop razzle-dazzle, stomping and sassing beneath a towering temple roof and making the most of the gigantic stage. August Brown, Los Angeles Times, 17 Apr. 2023 With her awe- and fear-inspiring attitude, the comedian-singer-postmodern diva is often recommended for anyone who loves onstage chaos and sass a la Pink Martini, Liza Minnelli or Bette Midler. Donna Freedman, Anchorage Daily News, 2 Jan. 2020 No stranger to reality TV, Delano got her start by sassing Simon Cowell on American Idol season 7 (as Danny Norriega) but was eliminated after making the Top 16. Sydney Bucksbaum,, 25 Nov. 2019 That's right: Now there's a robot who can sass you as well as any teenager. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, 13 June 2019 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, 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, 19 Apr. 2018 An entertaining Twitter account, in which Daniels often and humorously sassed back at the name callers, recently went private. Jean Marbella,, 19 Apr. 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sass.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



alteration of sauce entry 1

First Known Use


1835, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1856, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sass was in 1835

Dictionary Entries Near sass

Cite this Entry

“Sass.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: to reply to in a rude disrespectful way
sass noun
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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