Definition of sadism in US English:



  • The tendency to derive pleasure, especially sexual gratification, from inflicting pain, suffering, or humiliation on others.

    ‘beneath the apparent loving concern she had glimpsed spite and sadism’
    • ‘It features scenes of extreme sexual sadism and hardcore bondage as well as graphic depictions of rape.’
    • ‘Deviant sexual preference as measured by sexual arousal tests may show evidence of a deviation, but no evidence of severe paraphilias such as sexual sadism.’
    • ‘Psychopathic individuals are not actually linked to sadism, so they don't actually enjoy inflicting pain.’
    • ‘At the same time, Freudian psychoanalysis offers an understanding of the formations of sadism and masochism as complementary and vacillating.’
    • ‘They include auto-mutilation of her genitals with a razor, voyeurism, taking sexual pleasure in urination, sadism, and masochism.’
    • ‘Yet this scenario of male sadism and necrophiliac fetishism, this duality of adoration and humiliation does not feel quite right.’
    • ‘Man Ray's dalliance with sadism and masochism took place primarily on the theoretical level.’
    • ‘There would be clear evidence of sexual sadism in terms of fantasies, urges, history, and behavior in these cases.’
    • ‘As the philosopher points out, ‘There is an aestheticism in masochism, while sadism is hostile to the aesthetic attitude.’’
    • ‘Essentially, Roman and I are both dominants, but we're dominants who like to play with sadism / masochism in the context of our sexual relationship.’
    • ‘‘There is no room in my life for drugs, fights, divorce, adultery, sadism, unnecessary fuss and sex,’ he says now.’
    • ‘The sexual sadism of Use Koch haunts Semprun's tale, and it seems that both aspects of Koonz's speculation are in play here.’
    • ‘This belief illuminates the fact that the exercise of such sadism and humiliation is a fundamentally political act.’
    • ‘As Sarkar says, the incitement to violence is suffused with anxiety about virility, and the treatment of women seems to enact a fantasy of sexual sadism far darker than mere revenge.’
    • ‘In addition, it is the treatment of choice for the most serious sexual deviations, such as sexual sadism.’
    • ‘Whether or not you buy such arguments, it's clear that the issues of cinematic sadism and spectator pleasure/complicity are far from settled.’
    • ‘This showed that CPA was an effective agent in the treatment of very severe paraphilias, in this case sexual sadism and pedophilia that resulted in a sexually motivated homicide.’
    • ‘Lynchings, so often overtly sexual in their sadism, also betray profound economic anxieties.’
    • ‘His cavalier endorsement of sadism and sexual abuse for ‘emotional release’ counts as hate under any reasonable definition of the word.’
    • ‘Algolagnia is a psychiatric term covering sadism and masochism.’
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Late 19th century: from French sadisme, from the name of the Marquis de Sade, Comte de.