\ ˈsas How to pronounce sass (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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: Noun Afraid he would get frustrated with Wafa’s sass, Kassim urged her to be more demure. Caitlin Dwyer, Longreads, 29 May 2021 Most parents who have parented a 6-year-old have encountered some of this sass. Washington Post, 19 May 2021 Steff channels her American counterparts’ confidence and sass on the song’s first verse. Mankaprr Conteh, Rolling Stone, 5 Mar. 2021 Joy Randolph and Miss Lawrence provide some auxiliary sass as Roslyn and Miss Freddie, respectively, Holiday’s loyal confidantes and stylists. Los Angeles Times, 25 Feb. 2021 Performers surreptitiously conveyed stereotypical gayness — through winks, camp, sass, frippery — that was evident to in-the-know audiences but sailed over others’ heads. Erik Piepenburg, New York Times, 18 Dec. 2020 And Rashis on Tinder didn’t hesitate a moment to own up to their crime—and sass. Manavi Kapur, Quartz India, 8 Dec. 2020 In addition to arts coverage, City Pages had a reputation for investigative stories written with sass. Neal Justin, Star Tribune, 16 Nov. 2020 Gomez served us sass as Alex Russo in her breakout role on Disney Channel's Wizards of Waverly Place, sweetness as Mary Santiago in Another Cinderella Story, and sauciness as Faith in Spring Breakers. Billboard Staff, Billboard, 11 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 Lewis also sassed and snarled at critics and interviewers who displeased him. Lindsey Bahr, Esquire, 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, 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About sass

Statistics for sass

Last Updated

3 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sass.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sass



English Language Learners Definition of sass

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


\ ˈsas How to pronounce sass (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on sass

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sass


Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!