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

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

But people are pessimistic anyway, seemingly immune to progress and good news. Danny Westneat, The Seattle Times, "Why aren’t we asking if Seattle has gotten better, not worse?," 3 Sep. 2018 The ratio then stalled out at a low level for a while, which meant that by 2014, the CBO had become much more pessimistic about the long run. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "The big question about today’s economy — are wages going to start growing?," 23 Aug. 2018 Other studies suggest a more pessimistic scenario and attribute the increase in concentration to the fact that the barriers to competition are becoming higher. Alessandro Speciale,, "The Rise of Tech Giants May Be Bad News for the Economy," 21 Feb. 2018 Kissinger came back deeply pessimistic about the chances for victory, believing that the Saigon government was not worthy of support. Jeff Stein, Newsweek, "Did 'The Post' Get It Wrong? How the Cover-Up of a Green Beret Murder Led to the Pentagon Papers," 31 Jan. 2018 In his marathon congressional testimony earlier this week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg seemed pessimistic about the prospects of halting foreign influence operations on social media platforms altogether. Natasha Bertrand, The Atlantic, "The Fake Facebook Pages Targeting Vietnam Veterans," 12 Apr. 2018 That's a rather pessimistic look at this year's crop of quarterback prospects. Steven Ruiz, USA TODAY, "Sean Payton: No Luck or Wentz in 2018 draft," 16 Apr. 2018 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

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

29 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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