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[sahr-kaz-uh m] /ˈsɑr kæz əm/
harsh or bitter derision or irony.
a sharply ironical taunt; sneering or cutting remark:
a review full of sarcasms.
Origin of sarcasm
1570-80; < Late Latin sarcasmus < Greek sarkasmós, derivative of sarkázein to rend (flesh), sneer; see sarco-
Related forms
supersarcasm, noun
1. sardonicism, bitterness, ridicule. See irony1 . 2. jeer. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for sarcasm
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He now and then indulges in sarcasm, which is, in most cases, very felicitous.

    The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
  • The sarcasm was without effect on the dull sensibilities of the officer.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • The commissionaire regarded him contemptuously, but did not reply to the sarcasm.

    The Foolish Lovers St. John G. Ervine
  • "No," said the other, still with that latent touch of sarcasm in her voice.

    Meadow Grass Alice Brown
  • "Only," repeated the old gentleman; but Geoff detected no sarcasm in his tone.

    Great Uncle Hoot-Toot

    Mrs. Molesworth
British Dictionary definitions for sarcasm


mocking, contemptuous, or ironic language intended to convey scorn or insult
the use or tone of such language
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin sarcasmus, from Greek sarkasmos, from sarkazein to rend the flesh, from sarx flesh
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sarcasm

1570s, sarcasmus, from Late Latin sarcasmus, from late Greek sarkasmos "a sneer, jest, taunt, mockery," from sarkazein "to speak bitterly, sneer," literally "to strip off the flesh," from sarx (genitive sarkos) "flesh," properly "piece of meat," from PIE root *twerk- "to cut" (cf. Avestan thwares "to cut"). Current form of the English word is from 1610s. For nuances of usage, see humor.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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sarcasm in Culture

sarcasm definition

A form of irony in which apparent praise conceals another, scornful meaning. For example, a sarcastic remark directed at a person who consistently arrives fifteen minutes late for appointments might be, “Oh, you've arrived exactly on time!”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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