AskDefine | Define sadism

Dictionary Definition

sadism n : sexual pleasure obtained by inflicting harm (physical or psychological) on others

User Contributed Dictionary



Named after the Marquis de Sade, famed for his libertine writings depicting the pleasure of inflicting pain to others. The word for "sadism" (sadisme) is forged or acknowledged in the 1834 posthumous reprint of French lexicographer Boiste's Dictionnaire universel de la langue française; it is reused along with "sadist" (sadique) in 1862 by French critic Sainte-Beuve in his commentary of Flaubert's novel Salammbô; it is reused (possibly independently) in 1886 by Austrian psychiatrist Krafft-Ebing in Psychopathia Sexualis which popularized it; it is directly reused in 1905 by Freud in Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality which definitely established the word.


sadism (uncountable)
  1. (mainly psychiatric) the enjoyment of inflicting pain
  2. achievement of sexual gratification by inflicting pain on others
  3. gaining sexual excitement and satisfaction by watching pain inflicted by others on their victims
  4. a morbid form of enjoyment achieved by acting cruel to another, or others.
  5. (In general use) deliberate cruelty either mental or physical also applicable to the cruelty inflicted upon animals whether for sexual gratification or not.


enjoyment of inflicting pain
  • Croatian: sadizam
  • Greek: σαδισμός (sadismós)
  • Hungarian: szadizmus
sexual gratification
  • Croatian: sadizam
  • Greek: σαδισμός (sadismós)
watching pain inflicted
  • Croatian: sadizam
enjoyment by acting cruel to others
  • Croatian: sadizam
  • Greek: σαδισμός (sadismós)
  • Hungarian: szadizmus
deliberate cruelty
  • Croatian: sadizam
  • Hungarian: szadizmus

Extensive Definition

wikt sadism Sadism is the derivation of pleasure as a result of the suffering of others. Aspects of it include:
sadism in Arabic: سادية
sadism in Georgian: სადიზმი
sadism in Slovak: Sadizmus

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1