- characterized by bitter or scornful derision; mocking; cynical; sneering: a sardonic grin.
Origin of sardonic
SynonymsSee more synonyms for sardonic on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for sardonic
“Louie has a typical day”—that's the log line, sardonic and perfect.Why Is Louis C.K. So Funny? He Uses Humor as a Moral Compass.
May 2, 2014
A pantomime horse plays a role, as does a sardonic hand puppet.‘Family Tree’ Brings Christopher Guest’s Mockumentary Style to HBO
May 8, 2013
Ebert was celebrated for the sardonic wit and democratic writing style he employed in his reviews.Roger Ebert, 70, Has Died: A Look at the Life of Cinema’s Great Appreciator
April 4, 2013
Alan Arkin also provides an award-worthy turn as Lester Siegel, a sardonic, over-the-hill movie mogul who helps in the mission.Telluride Film Festival Kicks Off Oscar Season: Bill Murray, Ben Affleck & More
September 4, 2012
This is Cheever on Xanax, or maybe lithium, but the voice is still there; sardonic, hilarious, and very much of our time.Must Reads: Kennedy, Sontag and Paris, ‘A Partial History of Lost Causes,’ ‘City of Bohane,’ ‘Flatscreen’
Lauren Elkin, Mythili Rao, Drew Toal, Nicholas Mancusi
April 6, 2012
What sardonic contempt for all things in the intricate lines about the mouth.Night and Morning, Complete
"Your lordship thinks so," said Mr. Winsley with a sardonic smile.Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete
His sardonic comment brought a sudden chill to Kenneth Torrance.Under Arctic Ice
A sardonic smile crossed his face in the darkness as he thought of what he had said.The Eternal City
He developed, as a consequence, that sardonic outlook upon the world.The Lion's Skin
- characterized by irony, mockery, or derision
Word Origin and History for sardonic
"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.