• WordNet 3.6
    • adj sardonic disdainfully or ironically humorous; scornful and mocking "his rebellion is the bitter, sardonic laughter of all great satirists"- Frank Schoenberner","a wry pleasure to be...reminded of all that one is missing"- Irwin Edman"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • a Sardonic Forced; unnatural; insincere; hence, derisive, mocking, malignant, or bitterly sarcastic; -- applied only to a laugh, smile, or some facial semblance of gayety. "Where strained, sardonic smiles are glozing still,
      And grief is forced to laugh against her will."
      "The scornful, ferocious, sardonic grin of a bloody ruffian."
    • a Sardonic Of, pertaining to, or resembling, a kind of linen made at Colchis.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • sardonic Apparently but not really proceeding from gaiety; forced: said of a laugh or smile.
    • sardonic Bitterly ironical; sarcastic; derisive and malignant; sneering: now the usual meaning.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Sardonic sär-don′ik forced, heartless, or bitter, said of a forced unmirthful laugh—(obs.) Sardō′nian
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  • Roselle Mercier Montgomery
    Roselle Mercier Montgomery
    “The fates are not quite obdurate; they have a grim, sardonic way of granting them who supplicate the thing they wanted yesterday.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. sardonique, L. sardonius, Gr. , , perhaps fr. to grin like a dog, or from a certain plant of Sardinia, Gr. , which was said to screw up the face of the eater
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. sardonique—L. sardonius, sardonicus—Gr. sardanios, referred to sardonion, a plant of Sardinia (Gr. Sardō), which was said to screw up the face of the eater, but more prob. from Gr. sairein, to grin.


In literature:

That voice, with its hint of sardonic amusement, was like a trumpet call to battle.
"Mavericks" by William MacLeod Raine
Now, with her worldly wisdom and her bitter knowledge of love, she found herself regarding the situation with sardonic humour.
"Life and Gabriella" by Ellen Glasgow
The attitude in which I was, my hands clasped round my knees, consorted with sardonic merriment.
"Jaffery" by William J. Locke
There was in Foster Mantel a sort of sardonic humor into which he was always withdrawing himself.
"The Redemption of David Corson" by Charles Frederic Goss
Courthorne himself stood close by smiling at him sardonically.
"Winston of the Prairie" by Harold Bindloss
Suppose you are detailed for a wiring party, and you arrive to find a full moon beaming sardonically down at you.
"A Student in Arms" by Donald Hankey
It seemed to him that he saw on the face of the chief the trace of a sardonic grin.
"The Forest Runners" by Joseph A. Altsheler
Mr. Tovey and the Mayor were talking at the foot of the stairs, Mr. Frere was listening sardonically.
"Living Alone" by Stella Benson
He laughed sardonically, and the harsh note clashed with her frank candor.
"The Wings of the Morning" by Louis Tracy
She felt Marsh's eyes on her, sardonically.
"The Brimming Cup" by Dorothy Canfield Fisher

In poetry:

Only the heat waves
In this land
Sardonically dance
A Saraband.
"Blue Marl " by Norman MacLeod
He sauntered on the southern isle
In garments of eccentric cut,
And, with his grim sardonic smile,
Would masticate his coco-nut.
"The Domain" by John Le Gay Brereton
Then with a sly, sardonic look
He opened up a little book
Containing many a gem;
And as they sat in raiment fine,
So smug and soused with rosy wine,
This verse he read to them.
"Poet And Peer" by Robert W Service
The sardonic sardine had his sly heart's wish
When the angelfish fought with the paradise fish.
'T was a sight gave the bluefish the blues to see,
But the seal concealed a wicked glee—
"Don't You See?" by Katharine Lee Bates
She is large and matronly
And rather dirty,
A little sardonic-looking, as if domesticity had driven her to it.
Though what she does, except lay four eggs at random in the garden once a year
And put up with her husband,
I don't know.
"Lui Et Elle" by D H Lawrence

In news:

But will his sardonic wit and straight talk help him survive a barrage of attack ads.
Tom Hardy, the strapping British actor, made quite an impression in Inception and Warrior by confidently flexing his muscles and sardonic smile.
In the summer of 2001, a sheriff's deputy dropped Rex Krebs off at San Quentin State Prison with a sardonic message.
The sardonic and crass expressions were not my cup of tea.
"Leaving," though delightful and sardonic, is ultimately about control: about being in office and being out it, about being entirely in command yet feeling absolutely powerless .
Peter Barnes, the sardonic English playwright best known in this country for his play and film "The Ruling Class ," died on Thursday at a London hospital.
The Houston Symphony's Subversive, Sardonic Shostakovich.
The Houston Symphony's Subversive, Sardonic Shostakovich .
"I had these really simple mind-blowing epiphanies," he said sardonically.
I raised my brow and gave her my best sardonic smile.
Whether it be performed by the light of lanterns hanging from the ceiling, flashlights , candles or about 300 glow sticks, the Front Bottoms belts out catchy, sardonic ballads in style.
All of Portis' sardonic wit has been retained this time, and then some.
MC Sal Minnelli Room Full of Strangers Sardonic Garage Pop n Roll music with a vicious twist, that whips their audience into a.
Peter Barnes, the sardonic English playwright best known in this country for his play and film "The Ruling Class," died on Thursday at a London hospital.
MC Sal Minnelli Room Full of Strangers Sardonic Garage Pop n Roll music with a vicious twist, that whips their audience into a. PEACOCK ROOM Askultura + The Hoverhounds + 69 Fingers.