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noun (1)

op·​ti·​mist ˈäp-tə-mist How to pronounce optimist (audio)
: 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


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noun (2)

Op·​ti·​mist ˈäp-tə-mist How to pronounce Optimist (audio)
: a member of a major international service club

Examples of optimist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
In his telling, nineteenth-century liberals were optimists about human nature and believed in human beings’ ability to improve themselves and society. Helena Rosenblatt, Foreign Affairs, 20 Feb. 2024 The fair folks are optimists, too: There isn’t a specific game mentioned on the banner, so it could be used for years to come. Sal Pizarro, The Mercury News, 10 Feb. 2024 Bad service is often the consequence of cutting costs, but optimists are hopeful that advances in tech can check both boxes, providing good service on the cheap. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, 2 Feb. 2024 What even the wildest optimists could not have predicted was that Christopher Reeve would be nothing less than great in it. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 23 Jan. 2024 Steinberg, typically an optimist about money, Tuesday suggested the city use other one one-time funds to deal with deficit. Theresa Clift, Sacramento Bee, 24 Jan. 2024 Conversely, being upbeat and an eternal optimist throughout life surely is a major reason why Schwarzenegger, 76, rose to the top of the heap, accumulating stardom, wealth and power. George Skelton, Los Angeles Times, 27 Nov. 2023 Mira Murati, OpenAI’s chief technology officer, sees herself as both an optimist and a realist. Charles Duhigg, The New Yorker, 1 Dec. 2023 To have the show revolve around an optimist is in some ways a risk. Joshua Kissi, Glamour, 1 Nov. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Noun (1)

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

Noun (2)

Optimist (Club)

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1759, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1911, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of optimist was in 1759

Dictionary Entries Near optimist

Cite this Entry

“Optimist.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/optimist. Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


: an optimistic person
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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