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 Unquestionably, there is skepticism about the star power in the Red Sox system., "1. Triston Casas, 1B (age 19 in 2019)," 18 Nov. 2019 Bloom, a Buffs letterman as a return man and wideout in 2002 and 2003, has cause for skepticism. Sean Keeler, The Denver Post, "“The NCAA can’t be trusted,” ex CU Buffs WR and Olympian Jeremy Bloom says of NIL vote," 29 Oct. 2019 With many of the non-calls appearing to be clear penalties, there was league-wide skepticism whether replay officials would ever award pass interference upon review. Tyler Kraft, Indianapolis Star, "Frank Reich wins pass interference challenge; results in Colts' victory," 27 Oct. 2019 There was skepticism here about the impact a quarterback might have when Burrow arrived before last season, but the locals have come around. New York Times, "L.S.U., Known for Defense, Riding Offense for Title Hopes," 14 Oct. 2019 But there is skepticism amongst many in the energy sector that transition can come as quickly as scientists say needs to happen. James Osborne, Houston Chronicle, "Energy-related emissions to rise through 2050, EIA says," 30 Sep. 2019 But there was significant skepticism among liberal members, as well as among outside activist groups, that appointing a new committee would amount to anything more than a delaying tactic. Author: Mike Debonis, Rachael Bade, Anchorage Daily News, "House’s move toward impeachment leaves major questions about the road ahead," 25 Sep. 2019 Gaining a healthy skepticism Larson soon found a home on the Tillamook High speech and debate team. The Oregonian/oregonlive Politics Team, oregonlive, "So who is Lars Larson, the conservative who named the suspected Trump whistleblower on Fox News?," 8 Nov. 2019 Some black voters in South Carolina describe apathy or skepticism. Charlotte Alter / Rock Hill, Time, "Pete Buttigieg Rises In Iowa But Fails To Export That Midwestern Charm," 7 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for skepticism

Time Traveler

The first known use of skepticism was in 1646

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Statistics for skepticism

Last Updated

26 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Skepticism.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 7 December 2019.

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More Definitions for skepticism


How to pronounce skepticism (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of skepticism

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

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