Pol·​ly·​an·​na ˌpä-lē-ˈa-nə How to pronounce Pollyanna (audio)
: a person characterized by irrepressible optimism and a tendency to find good in everything
Pollyanna adjective
Pollyannaish adjective
or less commonly Pollyannish

Examples of Pollyanna in a Sentence

I'm no Pollyanna, but I do think some good will come out of this.
Recent Examples on the Web My mother, ever a Pollyanna, favors the gau sok tile, a riot of nine bamboo stalks in ruby and jade (and indigo in some sets). Rudy Lee, New York Times, 17 Oct. 2023 Travelers to Littleton are sure to get a warm welcome thanks to the joyful bronze statue of Pollyanna that stands in front of downtown's Littleton Public Library. Karla Pope, Country Living, 5 Feb. 2023 This is not to put Pollyanna up in opposition to Mr. Wheatcroft’s jeremiad but rather to point out that Britain’s lot on the world stage since 1945 has not been so lamentable. Richard Aldous, WSJ, 8 Oct. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Pollyanna.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Pollyanna, heroine of the novel Pollyanna (1913) by Eleanor Porter †1920 American fiction writer

First Known Use

1921, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Pollyanna was in 1921

Dictionary Entries Near Pollyanna

Cite this Entry

“Pollyanna.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Pollyanna. Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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