pes·​si·​mis·​tic | \ ˌpe-sə-ˈmi-stik How to pronounce pessimistic (audio) 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 How to pronounce pessimistic (audio) 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 As the economy reopens and people return to work, economic optimism is rising, though Republicans nationwide remain more pessimistic and are far more likely to oppose Mr. Biden’s plans. Jim Tankersley, New York Times, "Biden, Calling for Big Government, Bets on a Nation Tested by Crisis," 28 Apr. 2021 However, other market experts were not so pessimistic. Palash Ghosh, Forbes, "S&P, Dow Score All-Time Record Highs As Equity Markets Shrug Off Inflation Worries, With Info Tech Stocks Leading Week’s Rally," 9 Apr. 2021 Needless to say, a grouchy fan base with considerable scar tissue caused by Pace's many QB whiffs is pessimistic. Mark Craig, Star Tribune, "Offseason approaches of Vikings' NFC North brethren run the gamut," 20 Mar. 2021 But Saunders is pessimistic that, with tourists unable to complete the trip north along Highway 1 through San Simeon, his business will regain its footing anytime soon. Washington Post, "A road like no other, in peril like never before," 27 Feb. 2021 United also gave a slightly more pessimistic first-quarter outlook than rival Delta Air Lines did just last week. David Koenig, ajc, "United Airlines shares lose altitude after weak 1Q forecast," 21 Jan. 2021 Wronski chalked the pessimistic outlook up to uncertainty, noting that financial markets respond more positively to political stability. Carly Roman, Washington Examiner, "Business experts pessimistic about stock market under Biden presidency," 28 Dec. 2020 Napa County officials were more pessimistic Monday about their prospects. Sarah Ravani, San Francisco Chronicle, "Alameda County expects to move to orange tier, but Napa County might not make it," 30 Mar. 2021 Monica de Bolle, a Brazilian senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, is more pessimistic, and expects another recession in 2021., "As daily deaths near 4,000, worst may lie ahead for Brazil," 27 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for pessimistic

Time Traveler

The first known use of pessimistic was in 1865

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Statistics for pessimistic

Last Updated

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pessimistic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 May. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce pessimistic (audio) \

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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