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

But the new coin was met with skepticism after a New York Times investigation uncovered that one of Centra’s chief executives had been fabricated. Makena Kelly, The Verge, "Floyd Mayweather and DJ Khaled charged for illegally touting crypto offerings," 29 Nov. 2018 So when a new chain moves in, it can be greeted with skepticism. Robert Philpot, star-telegram, "Can a Connecticut-based taco joint make it in Fort Worth? Its prez thinks so," 31 May 2018 When politicians claim that video games inspire school shootings, they're usually met with skepticism. Fernando Ramirez, Houston Chronicle, "Major backlash for 'Active Shooter' video game that lets players kill civilians, police," 29 May 2018 Leading up to the 2016 presidential election, Chelsea Clinton and Ivanka Trump maintained the façade that their friendship was intact, despite their parents’ rivalry — a claim that was, rightfully, met with skepticism. Amanda Arnold, The Cut, "Chelsea Clinton Doesn’t Think Ivanka Trump Deserves Any Sympathy," 28 May 2018 Despite broad trends toward healthier eating, much of the online response to Costco’s menu changes has trended toward skepticism — and more than a little confusion between the two different hot dogs. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Costco Adds Healthier Items to Food Court, Cutting Some Favorites," 7 July 2018 Mass Hispanic immigration had a similar effect: Democrats friendliness to continued immigration, and growing GOP skepticism of the same, further polarized the electorate on racial lines. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The midterm elections revealed that America is in a cold civil war," 7 Nov. 2018 The Hindu texts operate from a platform of skepticism, not a springboard of certitude. Shashi Tharoor, WSJ, "How Hinduism Has Persisted for 4,000 Years," 17 Jan. 2019 And there’s also a lot of skepticism around hangover cures. Angela Chen, The Verge, "Why we don’t have a hangover cure yet," 21 Dec. 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

19 Mar 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).


a shady place in a garden or forest

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