cynicism

noun
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

These, Forabosco says, include features such as aggression, sexuality, sadism and cynicism. Giovanni Sabato, Scientific American, "What’s So Funny? The Science of Why We Laugh," 26 June 2019 These quasi-parodies have become a way to indulge in all the violence and cynicism of a zombie story without completely bumming out the audience. Noel Murray, The Verge, "The Dead Don’t Die is a perfect excuse to return to Zombieland," 14 June 2019 There’s a fascinating recurring character played by Colman Domingo, an adult drug addict who pushes Rue out of her spiral of cheap cynicism. Darren Franich, EW.com, "HBO's teen shock-soap Euphoria is sweeter than you think: EW review," 14 June 2019 The jubilation that marked the early days of the marches last year, and the optimism that a popular uprising might offer an alternative to Hamas’s official policy of militarized resistance has given way to cynicism. Tareq Baconi, The New York Review of Books, "One Year of Gaza Protests. A New Era of Palestinian Struggle?," 29 Mar. 2019 In an age of cynicism, this place still believes that the human capacity to solve problems is boundless. Bay Area News Group, The Mercury News, "Here’s what Apple CEO Tim Cook told Stanford grads about accountability and responsibility," 17 June 2019 No impoverished screen woman ever had such inexplicable luxury or wore clothes and light to glorify her cynicism. John Banville, WSJ, "‘Sleeping With Strangers’ Review: Flickers of Desire," 22 Feb. 2019 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of cynicism

1663, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cynicism

see cynic

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cynicism

Dictionary Entries near cynicism

cynghanedd

cynic

cynical

cynicism

cynic spasm

cynipid

Cynipidae

Statistics for cynicism

Last Updated

5 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cynicism

The first known use of cynicism was in 1663

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for cynicism

cynicism

noun

English Language Learners Definition of cynicism

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

a small bunch of flowers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!