noun (1)
op·ti·mist | \ˈäp-tə-mist \

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 \

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

And frankly, considering the gridlock in Washington, those 19 percent might be viewed as rosy-eyed optimists. NBC News, "Americans: Optimistic for country, but deep skepticism," 29 Apr. 2018 An optimist might argue that more women are not working because India is still paying for the sins of the past, when so many of them were illiterate and high fertility rates bound them to the home. The Economist, "Why India needs women to work," 5 July 2018 Based on 2010 prices and exchange rates †Does not include pensions Source: NATO There are optimists on both sides of the Atlantic who believe the parties can reach amicable deals on trade and defense spending. Bojan Pancevski, WSJ, "Summit Looms for a Strained NATO Alliance," 9 July 2018 The results show optimists outnumber pessimists but that difference is shrinking. Yuri Kageyama, The Seattle Times, "Bank of Japan survey shows corporate sentiment worsening," 2 July 2018 The eternal-optimist manager would argue that the Phillies also have the third-highest walk rate in baseball and that’s similar to the way the New York Yankees go about their business. Bob Brookover, Philly.com, "Phillies learning how to navigate through turbulent times | Bob Brookover," 15 June 2018 Everybody has a view: for or against; optimist or pessimist; fear-monger or Panglossian technophile. Fred Pearce, Time, "How the 'Compulsive Secrecy’ of the Atomic Age Has Changed the Way We Think," 22 May 2018 The optimists largely base their bold predictions on the fantastic profits posted in this year’s first quarter. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "Tax Reform Is Lifting Profits, but Beware Wall Street's Blue Sky Forecasts," 7 June 2018 Weber is an optimist by nature and believes the big crowds will return one day. Bob Brookover, Philly.com, "Phillies are far more improved than their attendance figures | Bob Brookover," 1 June 2018

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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Statistics for optimist

Last Updated

6 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for optimist

The first known use of optimist was in 1759

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More Definitions for optimist


op·ti·mist | \ˈäp-tə-məst\

Kids Definition of optimist

: a person who habitually expects good things to happen

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More from Merriam-Webster on optimist

Spanish Central: Translation of optimist

Nglish: Translation of optimist for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of optimist for Arabic Speakers

Comments on optimist

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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