Simple Definition of cynical
: believing that people are generally selfish and dishonest
: selfish and dishonest in a way that shows no concern about treating other people fairly
Full Definition of cynical
2 : having or showing the attitude or temper of a cynic: as a : contemptuously distrustful of human nature and motives <those cynical men who say that democracy cannot be honest and efficient — F. D. Roosevelt> b : based on or reflecting a belief that human conduct is motivated primarily by self-interest <a cynical ploy to win votes>
Examples of cynical
… if more and more people out there are willing to kill themselves in order to kill us, we've got to give the poor and cynical of the world something positive to believe in. —Robert Reich, Prospect, February 2003
When “Roots” premiered on the ABC network in 1977, my generation of black academics and activists was cynical and outraged. We felt the horrors of slavery were rendered flat and lifeless by the miniseries … —Houston A. Baker, Jr., Vibe, February 2002
It was fear of the Other, the poor, the dying—or to evoke a word with biblical authority—the pestilential. And so I could no longer be cynical about her motives. —Bharati Mukherjee, Time, 14 June 1999
… was quiet spoken, but he had a cynical arch to his brows, as though he were repressing an urge to sneer. —Joseph Wambaugh, The Blooding, 1989
Cynical people say there is no such thing as true love.
People are so cynical nowadays.
She's become more cynical in her old age.
Some people regard the governor's visit to the hospital as a cynical attempt to win votes.
Origin of cynical
First Known Use: 1542
Synonym Discussion of cynical
CYNICAL Defined for Kids
Definition of cynical
: believing that people are selfish and dishonest
Seen and Heard
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