For instance, if someone says to you, "I like cake," and you reply, "I like to take care of my body," your response is a passive-aggressive way of implying that they don't like to take care of their body because they eat cake.

I'm looking for an adjective to describe this type of response, something akin to passive-aggressive but more specific to the situation.

4 Answers 4


Haughty (“Conveying in demeanour the assumption of superiority; disdainful, supercilious”) and supercilious (“Arrogantly superior; showing contemptuous indifference; haughty”) seem relevant, along with some of the other terms in those definitions (eg arrogant, disdainful, and contemptuous) along with related words or phrases like holier-than-thou, sanctimonious, hoity-toity, and stuck up.

  • 1
    All appropriate - and let's add "rude"! Commented Sep 10, 2013 at 17:47
  • This helped me think of one that is as close as I can find: definition 1b of sententious.
    – YPCrumble
    Commented Sep 10, 2013 at 21:53

Perhaps snarky

said in a way that is intended to make someone feel stupid or bad

  • You could call I like to take care of my body a snark.
    – ghoppe
    Commented Sep 10, 2013 at 21:18

Synonyms of http://thesaurus.com/browse/critical:

disparaging, belittling, biting, censorious, condemning, cutting, saracastic, scolding seem to be especially on point.

  • Can you add a def for saracastic? Commented Sep 10, 2013 at 19:46
  • 'Censorious' is particularly good here as it picks up the indirectness of the rebuke. Commented Sep 11, 2013 at 15:21

caustic ("a caustic remark criticizes someone in a way that is unkind but often cleverly humorous")

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.