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 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 Even then, the Pew survey found that Republican skepticism was growing. Emily Guskin, Washington Post, "Trump is battling Mueller investigation to a draw in court of public opinion," 12 July 2018 That trade skepticism is Trump’s only long-standing policy position also means that his comments on trade are taken more seriously than his more off-the-cuff statements and (especially) tweets. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Trump’s Big Trade War Bluff," 5 July 2018 Houston migrant advocates, immigration attorneys and elected officials on Wednesday expressed skepticism after a reversal of Trump administration’s border policy, noting that children would still be jailed. Olivia P. Tallet, Houston Chronicle, "Houston advocates say Trump “reversal” on immigrant children doesn’t reverse families’ detention and criminalization," 20 June 2018 The skepticism isn't new to the Charleston, S.C., restaurant scene. Stephanie Barna, The Christian Science Monitor, "South Carolina pitmaster breaks mold as James Beard winner," 21 May 2018 In 2014, the companies bailed on a deal after concerns that Obama-era antitrust regulators would intervene, as the Federal Communications Commission also expressed skepticism of huge mergers. Colin Lecher, The Verge, "Will regulators approve the massive T-Mobile-Sprint merger?," 30 Apr. 2018 If skepticism is rampant in Washington, the Moon administration is somewhat more optimistic. David E. Sanger,, "Leaders of Koreas set to talk," 26 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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Statistics for skepticism

Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for skepticism

The first known use of skepticism was in 1646

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English Language Learners Definition of skepticism

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

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