sarcasm  sarcasm
 sar'-kazm from Gk. sarcazein, "to tear flesh, to speak bitterly"
sarcasmus, amara irrisio
the bitter taunt

Use of mockery, verbal taunts, or bitter irony.

If you be the son of God, descend from the cross —Matt. 27

In the following passage Cleopatra taunts her lover Antony when a messenger comes from Rome with possible news from his wife or orders from Caesar:
Nay, hear them [the messages], Antony.
Fulvia perchance is angry; or who knows
If the scarce-bearded Caesar have not sent
His pow'rful mandate to you: "Do this, or this;
Take in that kingdom, and enfranchise that;
Perform't, or else we damn thee."
Antony and Cleopatra 1.1.19-24

Related Figures

Related Topics of Invention

  Sources: Bede 616; Susenbrotus (1540) 15-16 ("sarcasmus"); Sherry (1550) 46 ("sarcasmus," "amara irrisio"); Peacham (1577) D3v; Putt. (1589) 200 ("sarcasmus," "the bitter taunt"); Day 1599 80 ("sarcasmus")

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Gideon O. Burton, Brigham Young University
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