Student Dictionary

One entry found for sarcasm.
Main Entry: sar·casm
Pronunciation: primarystresssär-secondarystresskaz-schwam
Function: noun
Etymology: from French sarcasme or Latin sarcasmos, both meaning "sarcasm," from Greek sarkasmos "sarcasm," from sarkazein "to tear flesh, bite the lips in rage, sneer," from sark-, sarx "flesh"
1 : a remark made usually to hurt someone's feelings or show scorn <a speech full of sarcasms>
2 : the use of sarcasms <this is no time for sarcasm>
Word History Anyone who has suffered from the sarcastic remarks of others will not be too surprised to learn that sarcasm, "a cutting remark," comes from a Greek verb, sarkazein, that literally means "to tear flesh like a dog." Very early, though, this Greek verb came to mean "to bite one's lip in rage," and "to gnash one's teeth," and finally "to sneer." The Greek noun sarkasmos, from which the English sarcasm comes, meant "a sneering or hurtful remark." But even today sarcasm is often described as sharp, cutting, or wounding, recalling in a faint way the original meaning of the Greek verb.

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