American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A person who believes all people are motivated by selfishness.
- n. A person whose outlook is scornfully and often habitually negative.
- n. A member of a sect of ancient Greek philosophers who believed virtue to be the only good and self-control to be the only means of achieving virtue.
- adj. Cynical.
- adj. Of or relating to the Cynics or their beliefs.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Of or pertaining to a dog; dog-like: as, cynic spasm.
- Of or pertaining to the dog-star: as, the cynic year.
- Belonging to the sect of philosophers called Cynics; resembling the doctrines of the Cynics.
- Having the character or qualities of a cynic; cynical.
- n. [capitalized] One of a sect of Greek philosophers founded by Antisthenes of Athens (born about 444 b. c.), who sought to develop the ethical teachings of Socrates, whose pupil he was. The chief doctrines of the Cynics were that virtue is the only good, that the essence of virtue is self-control, and that pleasure is an evil if sought for its own sake. They were accordingly characterized by an ostentatious contempt of riches, arts, science, and amusements. The most famous Cynic was Diogenes of Sinope, a pupil of Antisthenes, who carried the doctrines of the school to an extreme and ridiculous asceticism, and is improbably said to have slept in a tub which he carried about with him.
- n. A person of a cynical temper; a sneering faultfinder.
- adj. Churlish or satirical.
- n. A person who believes that all people are motivated by selfishness.
- n. A person whose outlook is scornfully negative.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Having the qualities of a surly dog; snarling; captious; currish.
- adj. Pertaining to the Dog Star.
- adj. Belonging to the sect of philosophers called cynics; having the qualities of a cynic; pertaining to, or resembling, the doctrines of the cynics.
- adj. Given to sneering at rectitude and the conduct of life by moral principles; believing the worst of human nature and motives; disbelieving in the reality of any human purposes which are not suggested or directed by self-interest or self-indulgence; having a sneering disbelief in the selflessness of others; ; characterized by such opinions.
- n. (Gr. Philos) One of a sect or school of philosophers founded by Antisthenes, and of whom Diogenes was a disciple. The first Cynics were noted for austere lives and their scorn for social customs and current philosophical opinions. Hence the term Cynic symbolized, in the popular judgment, moroseness, and contempt for the views of others.
- n. One who holds views resembling those of the Cynics; a snarler; a misanthrope; particularly, a person who believes that human conduct is directed, either consciously or unconsciously, wholly by self-interest or self-indulgence, and that appearances to the contrary are superficial and untrustworthy.
- n. a member of a group of ancient Greek philosophers who advocated the doctrine that virtue is the only good and that the essence of virtue is self-control
- n. someone who is critical of the motives of others
- From Middle English cynike, cynicke, from Middle French cinicque, from Latin cynicus, from Ancient Greek κυνικός (kynikós), originally derived from the portico in Athens called Κυνόσαργες (Kunosarges), the earliest home of the Cynic school, later reinterpreted as a derivate of κύων (kúōn, "dog"), in contemptuous allusion to the uncouth and aggressive manners adopted by the members of the school. (Wiktionary)
- Latin cynicus, Cynic philosopher, from Greek kunikos, from kuōn, kun-, dog. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“He and his scruffy band of followers held that life should be conducted in accordance with nature to the point of performing bodily functions in public like dogs hence the term cynic, from the Greek word for dog.”
“The root of the word "cynic" is the same as the Greek word for "dog," and some scholars say the Cynics got their name because they barked at society.”
“A cynic is someone who refuses to trust and believe;”
“A cynic is someone who once trusted and believe and was hurt, betrayed and traumatized.”
““A cynic is a man who knows the cost of everything, but the value of nothing.””
“Still, you're always willing to give something new a try (cause the true cynic is cynical about cynicism, baby, ya dig?), so you set up that new FaceBook page.”
“A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”
“One can only wonder, and a cynic is left to think that splicing the face of Adolf Hitler between images of leading Democrats was too irresistible for the creators of this web video, no matter how misleading and offensive the end result may be.”
“An unregistered cynic is the phrase I would use," he said.”
“Thackeray has been called a cynic, that is one who does not believe in the goodness of human nature, and who sneers at and finds fault with everything.”
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