skepticism

noun
skep·​ti·​cism | \ˈskep-tə-ˌsi-zəm \

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 researchers wrote that MiniBooNE and LSND combined represent a 6.1-sigma result (meaning more than one-in-500 million odds of being a fluke), though some researchers expressed a degree of skepticism about that claim. NBC News, "A major physics experiment just detected a particle that shouldn't exist," 3 June 2018 Some judges have expressed skepticism about the lawsuits. NBC News, "Johnson & Johnson talc verdict goes against what is known about cancer," 13 July 2018 But Trump has long expressed skepticism about its potential health effects after it is applied. Eli Rosenberg, chicagotribune.com, "Asbestos sold by Russian company is branded with Trump's face," 11 July 2018 In the same opinion, Kavanaugh expressed skepticism about independent agencies altogether. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Consumer advocacy groups are extremely worried about Brett Kavanaugh," 11 July 2018 Presidential Control of Agencies Judge Kavanaugh has also expressed skepticism about moves by Congress to permit executive-branch agencies to operate with some degree of independence from the White House. Charlie Savage, New York Times, "Brett Kavanaugh on the Issues: Abortion, Guns, Climate and More," 10 July 2018 Some experts have expressed some skepticism though so far, given the lack of details and the quagmire that is the health care industry. Andrew Joseph, STAT, "Surgeon Atul Gawande selected as CEO of new health care company from Amazon, partners," 20 June 2018 The secretive startup has faced some skepticism about its products. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "AT&T Inks an Exclusive Deal With Secretive Startup Magic Leap," 11 July 2018 While much of this is not new, the way the internet can help steer us toward something useful bears mentioning in a time of growing digital skepticism. Farhad Manjoo, New York Times, "How Online Hobbyists Can Reaffirm Your Faith in the Internet," 11 July 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

12 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for skepticism

The first known use of skepticism was in 1646

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More Definitions for skepticism

skepticism

noun

English Language Learners Definition of skepticism

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

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