American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Believing or showing the belief that people are motivated chiefly by base or selfish concerns; skeptical of the motives of others: a cynical dismissal of the politician's promise to reform the campaign finance system.
- adj. Selfishly or callously calculating: showed a cynical disregard for the safety of his troops in his efforts to advance his reputation.
- adj. Negative or pessimistic, as from world-weariness: a cynical view of the average voter's intelligence.
- adj. Expressing jaded or scornful skepticism or negativity: cynical laughter.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Same as cynic, 3.
- Having or showing a disposition to disbelieve in or doubt the sincerity or value of social usages or of personal character, motives, or doings, and to express or intimate the disbelief or doubt by sarcasm, satire, sneers, or other in-direction; captious; carping; sarcastic; satirical: as, a cynical remark; a cynical smile.
- Synonyms Pessimistic, etc. (see misanthropic), morose, sarcastic, satirical, carping, censorious, snappish, waspish.
- adj. of or relating to the belief that human actions are motivated only or primarily by base desires or selfishness.
- adj. skeptical of the integrity, sincerity, or motives of others.
- adj. bitterly or jadedly distrustful or contemptuous; mocking.
- adj. showing contempt for accepted moral standards by one's actions.
- adj. medicine, rare like the actions of a snarling dog.
- adj. believing the worst of human nature and motives; having a sneering disbelief in e.g. selflessness of others
- Originated 1580–90 from cynic+-al. (Wiktionary)
“His argument is clear: any politician who charms and inspires the voters, who talks in generalities and abstractions, is engaging in what he calls the cynical politics of celebrity marketing, turning himself to into a product.”
“Though Mesa admires the democratic principles on which the U.S. was founded, he opposes what he terms the cynical lack of application of those values, including the denial of due process to Guantanamo detainees under former President Bush.”
“When I'm met with people who wanna remain "cynical" and entertained while the US is slaughtering tens of thousands of people in Asia and ruining a good bit of their own landmass, I either get tongue-tied or abusive.”
“They encounter opposition from other army units, civilians cynical from a government of broken promises, uncaring aristocrats, and corrupt politicians.”
“I realize that being cynical is a way of life for you … but perhaps in the future you will refrain from bastardizing the word “evil” to suit your political needs.”
“Upbeat but cynical is a perfect description of her voice.”
“They're at risk of succumbing to the deluge of paid lies, voting for candidates who don't represent their values or staying home in cynical resignation.”
“It's ever so tempting to look at the Detroit Lions and roll one's eyes in cynical derision.”
“What's cynical is to devise a series of assessments that don't assess anything meaningful; assessments that lead to a perfectly predictable bell-curve distribution of performance, and then build an entire system of accountability, even of pedagogy, based on those fatally flawed assessments.”
“How cynical is that: One republican introduced the bill talking on end of life conselling for old people that democrats agreed on in a spirit of bipartisan.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘cynical’.
A complete Barron's Wordlist for GRE preparation. Your online flashcard replacement.
Collected from reading
That which is disqualified.
During the month of September, post at least 10 new words to this list. Make sure you cite where you read the word (book/author/pg) and quote the context/sentence where you found it. If someone has...
U Gotta Know These.......
The new favourite words of people on Twitter.
A script searches Twitter for "X is my new favorite word" and adds it to this list.
unfathomably, glice, cuh, fab, ciggaty, doll, thuggin, oxymoronic, pineapple, succubutt, griming, cheeky and 3063 more...
All my favourite words that I come across!
Looking for tweets for cynical.