- 1 a note of mockery in his voiceridicule, derision, jeering, sneering, contempt, scorn, scoffing, joking, teasing, taunting, sarcasm, ragging, chaffing, jibing; Australian/New Zealand chiackingBritish • informal winding uptaking the mickeyBritish • vulgar slang taking the piss
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mockery, ridicule, derision
These three words reflect increasing degrees of scorn.Mockery is the least severe. While it is usually intended to humiliate ( stung by her mockery, Frankie hung his head ), it can also express affectionate amusement ( ‘Liar,’ he said with soft mockery ). It can also mean ‘a worthy object of mockery’ in the phrase a mockery of ( after a mockery of a trial, he was executed ), but the sense is usually considerably weakened, especially (however serious the subject) in the cliché make a mockery of ( modern technology has made a mockery of the 1959 Obscene Publications Act ).Ridicule is more intense, the aim being not so much to provoke or tease the victim as to cause others to laugh at them ( Puritans were frequently subjected to ridicule and abuse at the hands of their contemporaries ).Derision is still crueller and more contemptuous ( Eline would forget the hurtful words spoken in derision ). The phrase of derision is commonly used to qualify a description of a scornful noise ( the answer was a snort of derision ).