- characterized by bitter or scornful derision; mocking; cynical; sneering: a sardonic grin.
Origin of sardonic
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for sardonicism
MacMaine laughed, allowing the touch of sardonicism that he felt to be heard in the laughter.The Highest Treason
- characterized by irony, mockery, or derision
Word Origin and History for sardonicism
"apparently but not really proceeding from gaiety," 1630s, from French sardonique (16c.), from Latin sardonius (but as if from Latin *sardonicus) in Sardonius risus, loan-translation of Greek sardonios (gelos) "of bitter or scornful (laughter)," altered from Homeric sardanios (of uncertain origin) by influence of Sardonios "Sardinian," because the Greeks believed that eating a certain plant they called sardonion (literally "plant from Sardinia," see Sardinia) caused facial convulsions resembling those of sardonic laughter, usually followed by death. For nuances of usage, see humor. Earlier in same sense sardonian (1580s), from Latin sardonius. Related: Sardonically.