Synonym Chooser

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

Thesaurus Entries Near cynical

Cite this Entry

“Cynical.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jul. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on cynical

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!