from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Scornfully or cynically mocking.
  • adjective Given to making sardonic remarks.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Apparently but not really proceeding from gaiety; forced: said of a laugh or smile.
  • Bitterly ironical; sarcastic; derisive and malignant; sneering: now the usual meaning.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Forced; unnatural; insincere; hence, derisive, mocking, malignant, or bitterly sarcastic; -- applied only to a laugh, smile, or some facial semblance of gayety.
  • adjective an old medical term for a spasmodic affection of the muscles of the face, giving it an appearance of laughter.
  • adjective Of, pertaining to, or resembling, a kind of linen made at Colchis.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Scornfully mocking or cynical.
  • adjective Disdainfully or ironically humorous.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective disdainfully or ironically humorous; scornful and mocking


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[French sardonique, from Greek sardonios, alteration of sardanios; perhaps akin to sesērenai, to show the teeth, grin mockingly.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

French sardonique, from Latin sardonius, from Ancient Greek σαρδόνιος (sardonios), alternative form of σαρδάνιος (sardanios, "bitter or scornful laughter"), which is often cited as deriving from the Sardinian plant (Ranunculus sardous), known as either σαρδάνη (sardanē) or σαρδόνιον (sardonion). When eaten, it would cause the eater's face to contort in a look resembling scorn (generally followed by death). It might also be related to σαίρω (sairō, "I grin").



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  • I always think of Waiting for Guffman when I hear this word: "He was in the, the very... the sardonically irreverent..."Dybbyck Shmybbyck, I Said 'More Ham'"

    December 5, 2006

  • He whips her lightly, sardonically, with a belt. 'Haven't I been through enough?' she asks, Now dressed and leaving

    Jim Morrison

    October 13, 2007

  • This is me. (Sardu + NYC)

    May 3, 2008

  • Pro, I get it! Ha!

    May 3, 2008

  • "But when President Bush demands Russia go home and leave Georgia alone, his pal Vladimir Putin - the modern Russian czar - gets that sardonic smile on his face." -- Bill Moyers

    September 6, 2008

  • Sarcasm:

    Harsh derision or irony: a sharp ironical taunt; sneering or cutting remark, usually intended to wound.


    Bitter derision, usually ironic: intended to be humorous.

    Difference: Sardonic and Sarcastic

    Sarcasm is more general than sardonicism. It can be humorous (at the cost of others), acidic, dry, or similar. To tell the 'type' of sarcasm, you must know the context.

    Sardonicism implies a negative view of something. It's sarcasm with an ill tone, even if it's used for humour. Someone can use sardonicism but it's obvious that he isn't too comfortable with subject.

    July 13, 2009

  • I've had it with your sardony!

    July 23, 2009

  • I've had it with your sardony!

    July 23, 2009

  • Sorry for any confusion: I am not sure my note was accepted to my suggested word 'sardony'

    There seem to be many words which lack a complete complement of forms. Sardonic is one of them. I cannot say "I am tired of your sardony" in a manner similar to how I can say "I am tired of your anger". Instead I must always attach a noun or verb to the adjective or adverb. Is there a name for these kinds of imperfect or irregular words? As a class, do they derive particularly from any linguistic river that has contributed to English? Should there not be a word 'sardony'?

    July 23, 2009

  • The Wordnik search/lookup function seems to be down.

    edit: search is working now.

    November 30, 2011