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 Burke was married to actress Pollyanna Rose until 2017. Dustin Nelson, EW.com, 15 May 2024 The series also stars Pollyanna McIntosh, Lesley-Ann Brandt, Terry O’Quinn, Matthew August Jeffers, Craig Tate, Breeda Wool and Andrew Bachelor, among others. Lily Ford, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 May 2024 In front of the library on Main Street in this northern New Hampshire town is a bronze Pollyanna statue, smiling with her arms flung wide. Sophie Hills, The Christian Science Monitor, 12 Feb. 2024 My natural state has always been one of optimism, almost to the point of being a Pollyanna. Ellyn Laub, sun-sentinel.com, 30 Sep. 2021 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 16 Jun. 2024.

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