pes·si·mis·tic | \ˌpe-sə-ˈmi-stik also ˌpe-zə- \

Definition of pessimistic 

: of, relating to, or characterized by pessimism : gloomy

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Other Words from pessimistic

pessimistically \ˌpe-sə-ˈmi-sti-k(ə-)lē also ˌpe-zə- \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for pessimistic


bearish, defeatist, despairing, downbeat, hopeless


hopeful, optimistic, rose-colored, rosy, upbeat

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Choose the Right Synonym for pessimistic

cynical, misanthropic, pessimistic mean deeply distrustful. cynical implies having a sneering disbelief in sincerity or integrity. cynical about politicians' motives misanthropic suggests a rooted distrust and dislike of human beings and their society. a solitary and misanthropic artist pessimistic implies having a gloomy, distrustful view of life. pessimistic about the future

Examples of pessimistic in a Sentence

Most doctors were pessimistic that a cure could be found. The film gives a very pessimistic view of human nature. He has an extremely negative and pessimistic attitude.
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Recent Examples on the Web

From being overly pessimistic, England is now woefully overconfident, which is a surefire path to heartache if things don’t turn out as expected. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "England's World Cup run is magical but the fans need to chill out," 7 July 2018 Frolov is equally pessimistic on Syria, which will be high on the agenda. Trudy Rubin,, "Analysis: Trump gets his summit with Putin. Watch out! | Trudy Rubin," 27 June 2018 Americans were similarly pessimistic several years ahead of the Iran nuclear deal negotiated under President Barack Obama. Ryan Struyk, CNN, "The shallow optimism for Trump's summit with North Korea," 7 June 2018 Moreover, that refrain obscures the difficult fact that King grew increasingly pessimistic in his final years, increasingly doubtful that history was predisposed to justice at all. Jacob Bacharach, The New Republic, "Don’t Count on History to Judge Wisely," 27 June 2018 Even the most pessimistic fan can find something to get excited about with an otherwise miserable baseball team. Jamie Samuelsen, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers fans can find solace in a few things on Opening Day," 29 Mar. 2018 Per Mathis Oskal, a herder and a representative at the Norwegian Sami parliament, is pessimistic that there will be a solution anytime soon. Author: Sveinung Sleire, Rafaela Lindeberg, Anchorage Daily News, "Reindeer ignoring borders have Norway locking antlers with Sweden," 30 June 2018 But sometimes, says Blanchard, the computer is more pessimistic. Sarah Scoles, WIRED, "Cosmic Ray Showers Crash Supercomputers. Here's What to Do About It," 4 June 2018 But many private analysts are more pessimistic, noting that underlying factors such as the retirement of the baby boomers and weak productivity gains will continue to depress long-term growth prospects. Martin Crutsinger,, "Business economists worry about possible recession in 2020," 4 June 2018

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

1865, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pessimistic

pessimist + -ic entry 1

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Statistics for pessimistic

Last Updated

20 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for pessimistic

The first known use of pessimistic was in 1865

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More Definitions for pessimistic



English Language Learners Definition of pessimistic

: having or showing a lack of hope for the future : expecting bad things to happen


pes·si·mis·tic | \ˌpe-sə-ˈmi-stik \

Kids Definition of pessimistic

1 : tending to think that bad things will happen

2 : having the belief that evil is more common than good

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Comments on pessimistic

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