cyn·​i·​cism ˈsi-nə-ˌsi-zəm How to pronounce cynicism (audio)
capitalized : the doctrine of the Cynics (see cynic sense 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 As usual, Scott sells visually sumptuous cynicism, this time about Napoleon Bonaparte leveraging his control of post-Revolution France, starting in 1793, to attempt conquering the world. Armond White, National Review, 24 Nov. 2023 The result was that Hollywood sold its gems as costume jewelry, not through mercenary cynicism but because the studio potentates were no more aware of the enduring art being produced under their aegis than were critics or, for that matter, viewers. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 30 Oct. 2023 There's plenty of cynicism around the opportunities of generative AI—much of it warranted. John Jarosz, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2023 Since the pandemic, a new strain of cynicism has emerged. Evan Osnos, The New Yorker, 23 Oct. 2023 That film turned glib cynicism into Oscar-bait rocket fuel, blasting past every thicket of fiscal confusion. Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune, 15 Sep. 2023 Parents should be concerned about Swift grooming their kids into cynicism and selfishness. Armond White, National Review, 18 Oct. 2023 Too often, the cynicism discourages people from engaging, which is the worst possible outcome. TIME, 15 Oct. 2023 Ross’s liberal cynicism about evangelical religion kept him from developing religious commitments of his own. Jim Sleeper, The New Republic, 4 Sep. 2023 See More

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

Word History


see cynic

First Known Use

1663, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of cynicism was in 1663

Dictionary Entries Near cynicism

Cite this Entry

“Cynicism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


cyn·​i·​cism ˈsin-ə-ˌsiz-əm How to pronounce cynicism (audio)
: a cynical attitude or quality
also : an expression of cynical quality
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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