pessimism

play
noun pes·si·mism \ˈpe-sə-ˌmi-zəm also ˈpe-zə-\

Definition of pessimism

  1. 1 :  an inclination to emphasize adverse aspects, conditions, and possibilities or to expect the worst possible outcome

  2. 2a :  the doctrine that reality is essentially evilb :  the doctrine that evil overbalances happiness in life

pessimist

play \ˈpe-sə-mist also ˈpe-zə-\ noun

Examples of pessimism in a Sentence

  1. Although the economy shows signs of improving, a sense of pessimism remains.

Recent Examples of pessimism from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pessimism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of pessimism

French pessimisme, from Latin pessimus worst — more at pejorative


PESSIMISM Defined for English Language Learners

pessimism

play
noun

Definition of pessimism for English Language Learners

  • : a feeling or belief that bad things will happen in the future : a feeling or belief that what you hope for will not happen


PESSIMISM Defined for Kids

pessimism

play
noun pes·si·mism \ˈpe-sə-ˌmi-zəm\

Definition of pessimism for Students

  1. :  a feeling or belief that things are usually bad or that bad things will happen


Medical Dictionary

pessimism

play
noun pes·si·mism \ˈpes-ə-ˌmiz-əm also ˈpez-\

Medical Definition of pessimism

  1. :  an inclination to emphasize adverse aspects, conditions, and possibilities or to expect the worst possible outcome

pessimistic

\ˌpes-ə-ˈmis-tik also ˌpez-\play adjective


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

conspicuously offensive

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time-traveler-quiz-which-word-came-first
  • Which came first?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!