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

Only in Congress could a political party introduce legislation with great media fanfare, then vote against it and blame the other side for cynicism. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Democrats Vote ‘Present’ on Climate," 26 Mar. 2019 And, of course, that could be the point, as well: an affair that is profoundly cynical, but—both despite and because of the cynicism—cinematically interesting. Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic, "The Graduate 50 Years After Its Oscar Win," 3 Mar. 2018 Seven years later, the cynicism of modern football had not corrupted his moral compass., "World Cup Countdown: 1 Day to Go - Germany's Mild-Mannered Goal Machine, Miroslav Klose," 13 June 2018 The idealism of the early 1960s, symbolized by America's youthful new president, was gone, replaced by a creeping cynicism and an unease that the fabric of American society was coming apart. Brandon Griggs, CNN, "The most turbulent time in modern American history (it's not now)," 18 May 2018 But recent events have offered plenty of reason for cynicism about politics. David Roberts, Vox, "California’s huge energy decision: link its grid to its neighbors, or stay autonomous?," 23 Aug. 2018 The younger Jones was frustrated with his father’s cynicism. Eve L. Ewing, GQ, "Bomani Jones Has a Funny Joke for You," 15 May 2018 But while Part VII’s gestation reeks of lazy cynicism, Barbara Sachs had actually had some outsize aspirations for her first producing credit. Scott Meslow, GQ, "Friday the 13th," 13 Oct. 2017 And avocado toast—having flown too close to the sun of post-yoga breakfast terraces of lifestyle gurus’ Santa Barbara ranches—began to plummet toward the sea of cynicism. John Birdsall, Bon Appetit, "Why Are We Still Talking About Avocado Toast?," 19 July 2017

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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Dictionary Entries near cynicism





cynic spasm



Statistics for cynicism

Last Updated

24 May 2019

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Time Traveler for cynicism

The first known use of cynicism was in 1663

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English Language Learners Definition of cynicism

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on cynicism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cynicism

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cynicism

Spanish Central: Translation of cynicism

Nglish: Translation of cynicism for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cynicism for Arabic Speakers

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 move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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