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 As long as that condition persists, health care will drive cynicism at large. Neeraj Sood, The Conversation, "What the Trump administration gets right about hospital price transparency," 27 Nov. 2019 What was once enthusiasm and optimism has now mostly faded to ambivalence or cynicism. Jennifer Medina, New York Times, "What Does Oakland Think of Kamala Harris Now?," 22 Nov. 2019 At Cleveland Rising, Clevelanders, for a moment, shed a collective cynicism. Mary Kilpatrick, cleveland, "What did you think about Cleveland Rising? Share an op-ed that could run on," 7 Nov. 2019 The recipe for any British holiday movie, the type pioneered by merchants of sap like Richard Curtis, requires a fine balance of sentimentality and cynicism. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Last Christmas Is a Welcome Dose of Sweetness," 6 Nov. 2019 Newspaper people were flamboyant, hard-drinking, bohemian anarchists, with a great gifts for obscenity and a cynicism based on experience. CBS News, "Pete Hamill on Jimmy Breslin and the heralded world of beat reporters," 6 Oct. 2019 Others—specifically, those who approach the whole month of December with a certain kind of panicky dread and unending cynicism—are probably watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, the foul-mouthed 1989 classic. Kaitlin Menza, House Beautiful, "This Clark Griswold Inflatable Gives You the Funniest House on the Block," 12 Nov. 2019 The Squid embodies suspicious cynicism and pretentious delusions of grandeur. Gillian Telling,, "SpongeBob Is Back! The Man Behind the Voice, Tom Kenny, on Returning for a Big Screen Adventure," 12 Nov. 2019 Surveys, Natasha Stagg’s debut novel, followed a young influencer named Colleen who, in her online tryst with fame, embodied the cynicism and know-how of the digital era. Zoë Hu, The New Republic, "Natasha Stagg Has No Illusions," 28 Oct. 2019

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

6 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Cynicism.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 10 December 2019.

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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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Comments on cynicism

What made you want to look up cynicism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to state or do over again or repeatedly

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