Definition of Panglossian
: marked by the view that all is for the best in this best of possible worlds : excessively optimistic
Panglossian was our Word of the Day on 02/11/2010. Hear the podcast!
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).