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"love of cruelty," 1888, from French sadisme, from the name of Count Donatien A.F. de Sade (1740-1815). Not a marquis, though usually now called one, he was notorious for cruel sexual practices he described in his novels.
sadism sa·dism (sā'dĭz'əm, sād'ĭz'-)
The act or an instance of deriving sexual gratification from infliction of pain on others.
A psychological disorder in which sexual gratification is derived from infliction of pain on others.
Abnormal behavior characterized by deriving sexual gratification from inflicting pain on others. More loosely, sadism refers to deriving any pleasure from inflicting pain. Named after the Marquis de Sade, a French author of the eighteenth century, whose works describe many sexual perversities.