From Late Latin sarcasmus, from Ancient Greek σαρκασμός ‎(sarkasmós, a sneer), from σαρκάζειν ‎(sarkázein, gnash the teeth (in anger), literally, to strip off the flesh), from σάρξ ‎(sárx, flesh).



sarcasm ‎(countable and uncountable, plural sarcasms)

  1. (uncountable) A sharp form of humor, intended to hurt, that is marked by mocking, sometimes conveyed in speech with vocal over-emphasis. Insincerely saying something which is often (but not necessarily) the opposite of one's intended meaning, often to emphasize how unbelievable or unlikely it sounds if taken literally, thereby illustrating the obvious nature of one's intended meaning.
    Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 5, in The Celebrity:
      Although the Celebrity was almost impervious to sarcasm, he was now beginning to exhibit visible signs of uneasiness, the consciousness dawning upon him that his eccentricity was not receiving the ovation it merited.
  2. (countable) An act of sarcasm.


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