skep·​ti·​cism | \ ˈskep-tə-ˌsi-zəm How to pronounce skepticism (audio) \

Definition of skepticism

1 : an attitude of doubt or a disposition to incredulity either in general or toward a particular object
2a : the doctrine that true knowledge or knowledge in a particular area is uncertain
b : the method of suspended judgment, systematic doubt, or criticism characteristic of skeptics
3 : doubt concerning basic religious principles (such as immortality, providence, and revelation)

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Choose the Right Synonym for skepticism

uncertainty, doubt, dubiety, skepticism, suspicion, mistrust mean lack of sureness about someone or something. uncertainty may range from a falling short of certainty to an almost complete lack of conviction or knowledge especially about an outcome or result. assumed the role of manager without hesitation or uncertainty doubt suggests both uncertainty and inability to make a decision. plagued by doubts as to what to do dubiety stresses a wavering between conclusions. felt some dubiety about its practicality skepticism implies unwillingness to believe without conclusive evidence. an economic forecast greeted with skepticism suspicion stresses lack of faith in the truth, reality, fairness, or reliability of something or someone. regarded the stranger with suspicion mistrust implies a genuine doubt based upon suspicion. had a great mistrust of doctors

Examples of skepticism in a Sentence

She regarded the researcher's claims with skepticism. It's good to maintain a healthy skepticism about fad diets.

Recent Examples on the Web

The same healthy skepticism should be directed toward the technology’s deployment at our airports. Allie Funk, WIRED, "I Opted Out of Facial Recognition at the Airport—It Wasn't Easy," 2 July 2019 Lucas Sinclair Portrayed by Caleb McLaughlin, this member of Will's crew initially expressed skepticism about Eleven. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "The story so far: Catch up with 10 Hawkins, Indiana, favorites before 'Stranger Things 3'," 2 July 2019 Those comments were already drawing skepticism on Saturday. Keith Bradsher, New York Times, "A China-U.S. Trade Truce Could Enshrine a Global Economic Shift," 29 June 2019 Still, with Gomez and two other leading suspects in the intricate scheme still at large, expressing skepticism about the official version of events has joined baseball atop the list of favorite Dominican sports. Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY, "Speculation about motive for David Ortiz shooting still rampant in Dominican Republic," 24 June 2019 Just as Rose experienced blowback for opting to sit out the entire 2012-13 season after his ACL surgery, Durant drew skepticism via social media for sitting out Game 4. K.c. Johnson,, "Like Derrick Rose before him, Kevin Durant's injury is bigger than basketball: 'An incredible win and a horrible loss'," 11 June 2019 Rukaiyah Adams, chair of the investment council, expressed deep skepticism about that forecast and what drove the increase at the group’s April meeting., "Will PERS Board follow lawmakers’ lead on pension reform, or buck them?," 5 June 2019 Some justices had expressed skepticism that the one-sentence ballot question put to voters fully explained the scope of 10 new constitutional rights for crime victims detailed in a bill that passed the General Assembly in 2018. Andrew Wolfson, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky Supreme Court strikes down Marsy's Law that establishes victims' rights," 2 Nov. 2018 The White House has offered few details on a plan that has drawn widespread skepticism even before its unveiling. NBC News, "Kushner says will publish Trump's Mideast peace plan 'soon,' Palestinian newspaper says," 24 June 2018

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

1646, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for skepticism

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for skepticism

The first known use of skepticism was in 1646

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More Definitions for skepticism



English Language Learners Definition of skepticism

: an attitude of doubting the truth of something (such as a claim or statement)

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Comments on skepticism

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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