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 Despite fears of recession deeply impacting the advertising sector, one investment firm is taking the optimist’s view. Caitlin Huston, The Hollywood Reporter, 8 July 2022 If Little Orphan Annie is the optimist, Anne is the survivor, overcoming a traumatic past. Christopher Arnott, Hartford Courant, 9 July 2022 The 2008 market crash and foreclosure rendered the dream halfway finished, but Barry, ever the optimist, insisted his vision would one day be made real. Ben Smith, ajc, 7 June 2022 The optimist in me wanted to cheer her up, but the economics reporter in me knew better. Julia Carpenter, WSJ, 19 May 2022 Maddon, an optimist by nature, believes this year will be different. Mike Digiovannastaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 6 Apr. 2022 The biggest, of course, was Zillow’s home-flipping implosion last November—one that caused even eternal growth optimist Cathie Wood to pare her positions in Zillow Z -2.59% Group and Opendoor Technologies. Laura Forman, WSJ, 6 May 2022 Ever the optimist, Marshall says the future (of food) is bright. Phil Lempert, Forbes, 30 Apr. 2022 Despite these hardships, Gustern’s family and friends remember her as an optimist. Kory Grow, Rolling Stone, 29 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

5 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Optimist.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/optimist. Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

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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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