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From French sardonique, from Latin sardonius, from Ancient Greek σαρδόνιος ‎(sardónios), alternative form of σαρδάνιος ‎(sardánios, bitter or scornful laughter), which is often cited as deriving from the Sardinian plant (Ranunculus sardous), known as either σαρδάνη ‎(sardánē) or σαρδόνιον ‎(sardónion). When eaten, it would cause the eater's face to contort in a look resembling scorn (generally followed by death). It might also be related to σαίρω ‎(saírō, I grin).



sardonic ‎(comparative more sardonic, superlative most sardonic)

  1. Scornfully mocking or cynical.
    He distances himself from people with his nasty, sardonic laughter.
    • Sir H. Wotton
      strained, sardonic smiles
    • Burke
      the scornful, ferocious, sardonic grin of a bloody ruffian
  2. Disdainfully or ironically humorous.

Related terms[edit]