Named after the Marquis de Sade, famed for his libertine writings depicting the pleasure of inflicting pain to others. The word for "sadism" (sadisme) was coined or acknowledged in the 1834 posthumous reprint of French lexicographer Boiste's Dictionnaire universel de la langue française; it is reused along with "sadist" (sadique) in 1862 by French critic Sainte-Beuve in his commentary of Flaubert's novel Salammbô; it is reused (possibly independently) in 1886 by Austrian psychiatrist Krafft-Ebing in Psychopathia Sexualis which popularized it; it is directly reused in 1905 by Freud in Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality which definitely established the word.
sadism (countable and uncountable; plural sadisms)
- (chiefly psychiatry) the enjoyment of inflicting pain without pity
- achievement of sexual gratification by inflicting pain on others
- gaining sexual excitement and satisfaction by watching pain inflicted by others on their victims
- a morbid form of enjoyment achieved by acting cruelly to another, or others
- (in general use) Deliberate cruelty, either mental or physical; also refers to cruelty inflicted upon animals, regardless of gratification
enjoyment of inflicting pain
enjoyment by acting cruel to others
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