Irony employed in the service of mocking or attacking someone is sarcasm. Saying "Oh, you're soooo clever!" with sarcasm means the target is really just a dunderhead.

Sarcasm is sometimes used as merely a synonym of irony, but the word has a more specific sense: irony that's meant to mock or convey contempt. This meaning is found in its etymology. In Greek, sarkazein meant "to tear flesh; to wound." When you use sarcasm, you really tear into them. A clever person coined the variant spelling sarchasm (a blend of sarcasm and chasm) and defined it as "the gap between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it."

Definitions of sarcasm
  1. noun
    witty language used to convey insults or scorn
    “he used sarcasm to upset his opponent”
    synonyms: caustic remark, irony, satire
    see moresee less
    type of:
    humor, humour, wit, witticism, wittiness
    a message whose ingenuity or verbal skill or incongruity has the power to evoke laughter
Commonly confused words

irony / satire / sarcasm

Irony, satire, and sarcasm all fall into the category of, "That's funny but I'm not sure what my English teacher wants me to call it."

Continue reading...

Word Family

Look up sarcasm for the last time

Close your vocabulary gaps with personalized learning that focuses on teaching the words you need to know.

VocabTrainer -'s Vocabulary Trainer