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

There’s skepticism over a plan to gather young assets while trying to win at the same time. Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press, "5 Pistons takeaways: Team must earn trust of fan base; peek at free agency," 22 June 2019 Beyond questioning the wisdom of cutting mental health programs, Hayden and Meieran have voiced skepticism about the methods used by state officials to predict program usage – forecasts which state budgets are built upon., "Multnomah County leader calls planned state mental health cuts ‘devastating’," 21 June 2019 But Makan Delrahim, who heads the antitrust division, has voiced skepticism. Mark Epstein, WSJ, "Antitrust, Free Speech and Google," 9 June 2019 The audience of some 200 people includes practitioners, researchers and policymakers, as well as patients, some of whom express skepticism over the role of the brain in their chronic pain. Cathryn Jakobson Ramin, Discover Magazine, "These Researchers Think We Can Retrain Our Brains to Tame Chronic Pain," 30 May 2019 That opposition at times appeared to endanger the bill, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell voiced skepticism of causing an intraparty fight over the legislation. German Lopez, Vox, "The Senate just passed criminal justice reform," 19 Dec. 2018 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

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

23 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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