noun cyn·ic \ˈsi-nik\

: a person who has negative opinions about other people and about the things people do; especially : a person who believes that people are selfish and are only interested in helping themselves

Full Definition of CYNIC

capitalized :  an adherent of an ancient Greek school of philosophers who held the view that virtue is the only good and that its essence lies in self-control and independence
:  a faultfinding captious critic; especially :  one who believes that human conduct is motivated wholly by self-interest
cynic adjective

Examples of CYNIC

  1. He's too much of a cynic to see the benefits of marriage.
  2. A cynic might think that the governor visited the hospital just to gain votes.
  3. Reporters who cover politics often become cynics.

Origin of CYNIC

Middle French or Latin, Middle French cynique, from Latin cynicus, from Greek kynikos, literally, like a dog, from kyn-, kyōn dog — more at hound
First Known Use: 1542

Rhymes with CYNIC


Next Word in the Dictionary: cynicalPrevious Word in the Dictionary: cynghaneddAll Words Near: cynic
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears