Synonyms & Antonyms of cynical

having or showing a deep distrust of human beings and their motives
  • so cynical that he can't understand why anyone would volunteer to help out at a homeless shelter

Synonyms for cynical

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Antonyms for cynical

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Frequently Asked Questions About cynical

How does the adjective cynical differ from other similar words?

The words misanthropic and pessimistic are common synonyms of cynical. While all three words mean "deeply distrustful," cynical implies having a sneering disbelief in sincerity or integrity.

cynical about politicians' motives

When is misanthropic a more appropriate choice than cynical?

Although the words misanthropic and cynical have much in common, misanthropic suggests a rooted distrust and dislike of human beings and their society.

a solitary and misanthropic artist

In what contexts can pessimistic take the place of cynical?

In some situations, the words pessimistic and cynical are roughly equivalent. However, pessimistic implies having a gloomy, distrustful view of life.

pessimistic about the future

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Time Traveler for cynical

Time Traveler

The first known use of cynical was in 1542

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Cite this Entry

“Cynical.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jun. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on cynical

Nglish: Translation of cynical for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cynical for Arabic Speakers


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