[ suh-dis-tik, sey-, sa- ]
/ səˈdɪs tɪk, seɪ-, sæ- /
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pertaining to or characterized by sadism; deriving pleasure or sexual gratification from extreme cruelty: a sadistic psychopath.



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Origin of sadistic


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What does sadistic mean?

Sadistic means extremely cruel or enjoying the pain of others.

More specifically, sadistic can be used in the context of psychology in relation to the condition of sadism, in which a person gets sexual pleasure from other people’s pain. Sadistic can be used to describe a person or an action.

Example: The dictator was known for being sadistic and merciless, enjoying the pain of the people he suppressed.

Where does sadistic come from?

The first records of sadistic in English come from the late 1880s. Sadistic is the adjective form of sadism, a loanword from the French word sadisme, which was derived from the name of the Marquis de Sade (a.k.a. Donatien Alphonse François, Comte de Sade). He was French writer and soldier who lived from 1740–1814 and wrote many works of fiction centering around sexual sadism.

Aside from its more specific use in the context of psychology, sadistic is often used to describe someone who is not only extremely cruel, but enjoys being cruel. Such a person can be called a sadist. Sadism should not be confused with schadenfreude, which is the pleasure or amusement felt when observing someone else’s misfortune. In psychiatric terms, the counterpart of sadism is masochism, a condition in which a person derives sexual pleasure from their own pain. The adjective form, masochistic, is also used in a general way to describe someone who enjoys pain or who tends to be self-destructive.

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What are some other forms of sadistic?

  • sadism (noun)
  • sadist (noun)
  • sadistically (adverb)
  • nonsadistic (adjective)
  • nonsadistically (adverb)
  • unsadistic (adjective)

What are some synonyms for sadistic?

What are some words that share a root or word element with sadistic

What are some words that often get used in discussing sadistic?


What are some words sadistic may be commonly confused with?



How is sadistic used in real life?

Sadistic is most often used in a general way to describe a person who is considered excessively cruel, especially when they seem to enjoy it.



Try using sadistic!

Which of the following sentences uses sadistic correctly?

A. It’s absolutely sadistic of you to keep eating those cookies when you’ve already said they taste terrible.
B. It was completely sadistic when Bill brought Sarah her favorite flowers.
C. My coach was sadistic—he made us go running in freezing weather and then laughed about it.

Example sentences from the Web for sadistic

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