cyn·​i·​cism | \ ˈsi-nə-ˌsi-zəm How to pronounce cynicism (audio) \

Definition of cynicism

1 capitalized : the doctrine of the Cynics (see cynic sense 2)
2 : cynical attitude or quality Nothing could change her cynicism about politics. also : a cynical comment or act pungent cynicisms

Examples of cynicism in a Sentence

Nothing could change her cynicism about politics.
Recent Examples on the Web In fact, SUVs’ sales ascendancy may free — or force, depending on your degree of cynicism — automakers to make better cars. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "These new cars prove the sedan isn’t dead. Here's why drivers will buy them," 2 Jan. 2021 Has every black in contemporary showbiz bought into the same self-deprecating cynicism? Armond White, National Review, "The Fiasco of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom," 1 Jan. 2021 Trotting out the same-old, same-old only reinforces that cynicism. Washington Post, "Who’s left if you bar corporate executives and lobbyists from Joe Biden administration," 17 Nov. 2020 The Judicial Fairness Project does not fall under laws that require prompt disclosure of specific individuals who gave to the group, and the lack of transparency leads to public cynicism, said campaign finance expert Kent Redfield. Ray Long,, "Speaker Madigan’s shadow hangs over a big-dollar, high-stakes Illinois Supreme Court contest," 22 Oct. 2020 Maybe the public will end up buying Nasdaq’s diversity stunt but voters sometimes get their fill of cynicism. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "A Nasdaq Chief’s Diversity Stunt," 8 Dec. 2020 George's biography breezes through Glenn's busy, ever-changing career with promises to examine his life in an inspirational way, seeing him as a memorial to a more honest time before the Watergate era of national cynicism. Francis French Washington Post, Star Tribune, "REVIEW: 'The Last American Hero,' by Alice L. George," 7 Dec. 2020 Others argue the protests have deepened feelings of legal cynicism. Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Why are homicides nearing a record high in Milwaukee this year? Here are some theories.," 30 Oct. 2020 Without looking for the strings, calling out flaws and faults or filling the air with my cynicism? Chris Wiley, The New Yorker, "A Photographer and an Inmate Exchange Ways of Seeing," 13 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cynicism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cynicism

1663, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cynicism

see cynic

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Time Traveler for cynicism

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The first known use of cynicism was in 1663

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Statistics for cynicism

Last Updated

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cynicism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce cynicism (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cynicism

: cynical beliefs : beliefs that people are generally selfish and dishonest

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