sardonic

[sahr-don-ik]
adjective
characterized by bitter or scornful derision; mocking; cynical; sneering: a sardonic grin.

Origin:
1630–40; alteration of earlier sardonian (influenced by French sardonique) < Latin sardoni(us) (< Greek sardónios of Sardinia) + -an; alluding to a Sardinian plant which when eaten was supposed to produce convulsive laughter ending in death

sardonically, adverb
sardonicism, noun
unsardonic, adjective
unsardonically, adverb


biting, mordant, contemptuous.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To sardonically
Collins
World English Dictionary
sardonic (sɑːˈdɒnɪk)
 
adj
characterized by irony, mockery, or derision
 
[C17: from French sardonique, from Latin sardonius, from Greek sardonios derisive, literally: of Sardinia, alteration of Homeric sardanios scornful (laughter or smile)]
 
sar'donically
 
adv
 
sar'donicism
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

sardonic
1630s, from Fr. sardonique (16c.), from L. sardonius (but as if from L. *sardonicus) in Sardonius risus, loan-translation of Gk. 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 (lit. "plant from Sardinia," see Sardinia) caused facial convulsions resembling those of sardonic laughter, usually followed by death. For nuances of usage, see humor. Related: Sardonically.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
The general smiled sardonically without making any effort to hide that broken incisor.
He thinks he's being sardonically witty, but there's a painful truth spake in his jest.
She told me sardonically that they were waiting for her to die.
Some noticed me and moved what little clothing they wore to show their grotesque malformations and a few smiled sardonically.
Related Words
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature