[ sahr-don-ik ]
See synonyms for: sardonicsardonicism on

  1. characterized by bitter or scornful derision; mocking; sneering; cynical; a sardonic grin.

Origin of sardonic

First recorded in 1630–40; alteration of earlier sardonian (influenced by French sardonique, ) from Latin sardoni(us) or directly from Greek sardónios “of Sardinia” + -an; alluding to a Sardinian plant which when eaten was supposed to produce convulsive laughter ending in death

Other words for sardonic

Other words from sardonic

  • sar·don·i·cal·ly, adverb
  • sar·don·i·cism, noun
  • un·sar·don·ic, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use sardonic in a sentence

  • There was a curious lurking sardonicism in the words, an undertone of mockery.

    The Metal Monster | A. Merritt
  • MacMaine laughed, allowing the touch of sardonicism that he felt to be heard in the laughter.

    The Highest Treason | Randall Garrett

British Dictionary definitions for sardonic


/ (sɑːˈdɒnɪk) /

  1. characterized by irony, mockery, or derision

Origin of sardonic

C17: from French sardonique, from Latin sardonius, from Greek sardonios derisive, literally: of Sardinia, alteration of Homeric sardanios scornful (laughter or smile)

Derived forms of sardonic

  • sardonically, adverb
  • sardonicism, noun

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