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

Ecuador has faced skepticism from bond investors, who have demanded high yields to lend the country additional funds. Micah Maidenberg, WSJ, "Ecuador, IMF Launch Formal Talks on Possible Financial Bailout," 13 Feb. 2019 As the force's oldest newcomer, he's met with serious skepticism from his colleagues—especially from Sgt. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Nathan Fillion's New Show 'The Rookie' Just Premiered and Fans Are Losing It," 17 Oct. 2018 Even before her confirmation and contentious Senate hearing, DeVos generated skepticism from people familiar with her work. Anthony Gerace, Teen Vogue, "Betsy DeVos Says She Wants to Keep Schools Safe and Equitable. Her Policies Tell a Different Story," 28 Aug. 2018 That claim has attracted a lot of skepticism from Wall Street, but there's good reason to think that Tesla's financial situation will at least improve in the next few months. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Tesla’s cash crunch, explained," 26 July 2018 Ocasio-Cortez wasn’t the only leftist candidate to experience some skepticism from party leadership. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "Give the Left a Chance," 27 June 2018 The proposal was greeted with some skepticism from community groups., "Emanuel administration proposes new city housing department, days after Tribune highlighted shortcomings," 25 June 2018 With the broad agreement facing skepticism from allies and the press, Trump is under pressure to sell it., "The Latest on Trump and North Korea," 15 June 2018 The company’s plans have run into regulatory questions and skepticism from local officials in California and on the East Coast. New York Times, "Chicago Says Elon Musk’s Company Will Build Tunnels and Electric Cars to Go to O’Hare," 13 June 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

16 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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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).


likely to have or produce good results

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