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

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 Politicians from both sides of the political aisle have expressed deep skepticism over the terms, saying the U.K. would be tethered to the EU for years. Max Colchester, WSJ, "U.K. Takes a Step Toward a Smooth Brexit, but Domestic Opposition Remains," 22 Nov. 2018 Still, Pai, who has presided over an FCC that consistently pushes deregulatory measures, has also expressed skepticism over other tools meant to help consumers. Colin Lecher, The Verge, "Why robocalls have taken over your phone," 7 Nov. 2018 Following the news reports of the sisters' deaths, several people including The New Yorker staff writer Lauren Collins took to Twitter to express their thoughts, including skepticism over the idea that the sisters committed suicide. Teen Vogue, "Two Asylum-Seeking Saudi Sisters Were Found Dead, Duct-Taped Together in the Hudson River," 30 Oct. 2018 South Korea’s liberal president faces growing skepticism at home about his engagement policy ahead of his third summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Fox News, "Skepticism rising in S. Korea ahead of 3rd summit with North," 15 Sep. 2018 At the World Satellite Business Week conference, representatives from Virgin Orbit and Rocket Lab expressed skepticism about all of their potential competitors. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: Japanese spaceplane, GEO downturn, Block 5 results good," 14 Sep. 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

5 Feb 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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