skepticism

noun
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 there are also some reasons for skepticism — maybe giving people money in disasters just results in bidding-up of scarce supplies. Kelsey Piper, Vox, "Why disaster relief is so hard," 25 Mar. 2019 And if even Waymo—long regarded as the industry leader—is struggling to roll out fully driverless cars, that may be a cause for skepticism that its rivals will achieve the feat any time soon. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Even self-driving leader Waymo is struggling to reach full autonomy," 7 Dec. 2018 These cases for decades have been treated with some skepticism. Glamour, "The Women Who Took Down Larry Nassar on Life After the Ruling," 11 Nov. 2018 Analysts said there were reasons for skepticism about the Turkish account. Matthew Pennington, The Seattle Times, "US seeks answers about missing writer from Saudi ally," 9 Oct. 2018 The Chinese government has denied any responsibility for the incidents, but there are strong grounds for skepticism. Andrew Shearer, Fortune, "How China’s Laser Attacks on the U.S. Military Could Cause a Serious Conflict," 9 May 2018 As steroid allegations swirled around many of the top players of the 1990s and 2000s, Pujols gave fans and media no cause for skepticism. Alex Putterman, The Atlantic, "A Glorious Milestone for Albert Pujols," 5 May 2018 Indians should know the same creature is not in itself cause for skepticism: Under various names and dressed in myriad traditions, Yucca Man has been reported in the wilder parts of Southern California as long as people have lived here. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "The Known Unknown: Tales of the Yucca Man," 25 Apr. 2018 As always, Korea experts could point to many reasons for skepticism about what the North Koreans really meant. David Lauter, latimes.com, "The Trump administration sure does sell books," 20 Apr. 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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Dictionary Entries near skepticism

skepsis

skeptic

skeptical

skepticism

skepticize

skerrick

skerry

Statistics for skepticism

Last Updated

14 May 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

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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Comments on skepticism

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