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Sexual perversion in which one derives pleasure from inflicting physical or mental cruelty upon another.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



in medicine, a sexual perversion in which sexual satisfaction is achieved by causing the partner psychological (through degradation or humiliation) or physical suffering. It is named for the French writer the Marquis de Sade (1740–1814), who in his novels described sexual crimes connected with acts of violence and cruelty. In the figurative sense, sadism is an abnormal passion for cruelty or taking pleasure in the sufferings of others.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.