Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


adjective Pan·gloss·ian \pan-ˈglä-sē-ən, paŋ-, -ˈglȯ-\

Definition of Panglossian

  1. :  marked by the view that all is for the best in this best of possible worlds :  excessively optimistic

Did You Know?

Dr. Pangloss was the pedantic old tutor in Voltaire's satirical novel Candide. Pangloss was an incurable, albeit misguided, optimist who claimed that "all is for the best in this best of all possible worlds." So persistent was he in his optimism that he kept it even after witnessing and experiencing great cruelty and suffering. The name "Pangloss" comes from Greek pan, meaning "all," and glossa, meaning "tongue," suggesting glibness and talkativeness.

Origin and Etymology of panglossian

Pangloss, optimistic tutor in Voltaire's Candide (1759)

First Known Use: 1831

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up Panglossian? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to permeate or influence as if by dyeing

Get Word of the Day daily email!