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a comic device, criticism expressed through scathing mockery. Sarcasm is the strongest form of irony. Although a sarcastic statement is formulated in positive terms, its negative meaning is immediately made apparent; other forms of irony preserve and develop the positive formulation, expressing criticism only by subtle implication. Sarcasm is always tendentious, merciless, and satirical; irony, when used for purposes of humor, is gentle and conciliatory. Unlike simple condemnation, sarcasm does not explicitly criticize but forces the reader himself to reassess the object of satire:

Molchalin! Who else can smooth things out so peacefully!
He knows just when to pet a pug,
And when to slip in a card.

(A. S. Griboedov, Woe From Wit)

References in classic literature ?
He pressed its hand, and kissed the sarcastic, savage face that every one else shrank from contemplating; and bemoaned him with that strong grief which springs naturally from a generous heart, though it be tough as tempered steel.
Clare, and of rousing the philosopher's sarcastic indignation by an account of the dramatic performance.
and throwing off other sarcastic sparks from the whirling grindstone of his indignation, Mr.
Like enough,' he returned; 'though there's a sarcastic meaning in that observation for an amiable piece of innocence like my young friend.
Is it," pursued the stranger in his most sarcastic and suspicious manner, "the printed paper you have just been reading from?
Macey, with a sarcastic smile, tapping his thumbs together, "he's no call to lay any bet--let him go and stan' by himself--there's nobody
And while their manners were thus the subject of sarcastic observation, the untaught Saxons unwittingly transgressed several of the arbitrary rules established for the regulation of society.
She returned to the study and related what had just occurred, adding some sarcastic comments on the efficacy of moral force in maintaining collegiate discipline.
To understand how sarcastic were these exhortations, repeated at intervals, we should state that the approaching huntsman was a stout little man whose protuberant stomach was the evidence of a truly ministerial "embonpoint.
Surely the sarcastic mood must be an imperative need in France, that so excellent a woman should excite the laughter of Alencon.
Naseby was silent for a moment, struggling to keep down his emotion, and he mastered it so far as to mount into the sarcastic vein, when he was in the nearest danger of melting into the sorrowful.
Not even when you arsked me sarcastic like if I'd like you to arsk the Superintendent if you might arsk me questions.