noun (1)
op·​ti·​mist | \ ˈäp-tə-mist How to pronounce optimist (audio) \

Definition of optimist

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who is inclined to be hopeful and to expect good outcomes : someone who is given to optimism The optimists have faith that no matter how avaricious the age, literature will endure.— Michael Norman


noun (2)
Op·​ti·​mist | \ ˈäp-tə-mist How to pronounce Optimist (audio) \

Definition of Optimist (Entry 2 of 2)

: a member of a major international service club

Examples of optimist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun An optimist might say about half the U.S. population has received at least one dose of COVID vaccine. Editorial Board, Star Tribune, "Vaccines remain the ticket to normalcy," 28 Apr. 2021 But while the steady sprint of her career from ages nine to twenty-seven has led to its share of ups and downs, Palmer remains a relentless optimist. refinery29.com, "Keke Palmer Is In Full Bloom," 22 Apr. 2021 An optimist, however, Lancaster has confidence in Deep Run. Washington Post, "Delivering fresh produce to families, pancake mix to staff, principal works to boost morale and navigate challenges of pandemic," 19 Apr. 2021 To an optimist — and, to be fair, to most seasoned baseball observers — this gives the Diamondbacks plenty of time to find their stride. Nick Piecoro, The Arizona Republic, "Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo staying optimistic after series loss to Rockies," 8 Apr. 2021 Poet, activist, optimist, style icon—Gorman has become so much more than a literary star. Christi Carras, Los Angeles Times, "Poet Amanda Gorman for president? Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton hope so," 8 Apr. 2021 The optimist looks toward the future, however, with a stable of prospects and young pitching potential soon making their home at Camden Yards. Pat Stoetzer, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Stoetzer: The Orioles open the 2021 season April 1. What lies ahead for us fools? | COMMENTARY," 28 Mar. 2021 Ian's like the eternal optimist, eternally happy, eternally positive. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley Talk About Their Friendship and Possible Return to "The Vampire Diaries"," 25 Mar. 2021 Erik Spoelstra is an unwavering optimist, a requirement for any good coach. Dave Hyde, sun-sentinel.com, "Hyde: Butler and Adebayo need help — can Riley provide some at trade deadline? | Commentary," 21 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'optimist.' 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 optimist

Noun (1)

1759, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1911, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for optimist

Noun (1)

optim(ism) + -ist entry 1, probably after French optimiste

Noun (2)

Optimist (Club)

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Time Traveler for optimist

Time Traveler

The first known use of optimist was in 1759

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Statistics for optimist

Last Updated

1 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Optimist.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/optimist. Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for optimist



English Language Learners Definition of optimist

: a person who usually expects good things to happen


op·​ti·​mist | \ ˈäp-tə-məst \

Kids Definition of optimist

: a person who habitually expects good things to happen

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