American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A tendency to expect the best possible outcome or dwell on the most hopeful aspects of a situation: "There is a touch of optimism in every worry about one's own moral cleanliness” ( Victoria Ocampo).
- n. Philosophy The doctrine, asserted by Leibniz, that this world is the best of all possible worlds.
- n. Philosophy The belief that the universe is improving and that good will ultimately triumph over evil.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In metaphysics: Properly, the metaphysical doctrine of Leibnitz that the existing universe is the best of all possible universes. The most characteristic moments of the doctrine are two: first, that the Creator selected this universe from a number of others which he might have created; and, second, that all of these presented certain imperfections or disadvantages which omnipotence could not avoid.
- n. The doctrine that the universe advances on the whole, so as to be tending toward a state in the indefinite future different in its general character from that in the indefinite past. This is better called
evolutionism. It is opposed to pessimism, which holds that the universe is tending to the nothingness from which it sprang, and to Epicureanism, which holds that the universe is not tending from any general state to any other general state.
- n. The belief, or disposition to believe, that whatever exists is right and good, in some inscrutable way, in spite of all observations to the contrary.
- n. a tendency to expect the best, or at least, a favourable outcome
- n. the doctrine that this world is the best of all possible worlds
- n. the belief that good will eventually triumph over evil
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Metaph.) The opinion or doctrine that everything in nature, being the work of God, is ordered for the best, or that the ordering of things in the universe is such as to produce the highest good.
- n. A habitual tendency or a present disposition to take the most hopeful view of future events, and to expect a favorable outcome even when unfavorable outcomes are possible; -- opposed to
- n. the optimistic feeling that all is going to turn out well
- n. a general disposition to expect the best in all things
- French optimisme, from New Latin optimum, the greatest good; see optimum. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Reagan optimism is code for status quo Republican agenda.”
“The term optimism as thus extended would also include "meliorism", a word first used in print by Sully to designate the theory of those who hold that things are, indeed, bad, but that they can be better, and that it is in our power to increase the happiness and welfare of mankind.”
“You may not agree with their philosophy for creating a better future for America, but the optimism is the same.”
“Underpinning the optimism is a belief that the sovereign-debt concerns that rattled markets earlier in the year have become less threatening.”
“Today, a scant two years later, as chaos erupts in that great expanse of geography that once was the Soviet Union, our optimism is at home with a severe autumn cold.”
“I walk away in awe wondering if this, perhaps, is what they call the optimism of youth.”
“The gift of this kind of optimism is that it allows you to truly believe that things can change, and to act on those beliefs, despite the fact that everyone around you insists that you are wrong.”
“That kind of optimism is an essential ingredient, not only of being a Conservative these days, but it is also essential if one is to look with any confidence to the future of journalistic practice.”
“Thus,' said the fathers, with a certain optimism, 'there will arise a generation of new men, the moulders of a new humanity.”
“Despite the longer-term optimism, emerging markets are being hit by a reversal of some of the huge amounts of investor money that had poured in over the past two years.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘optimism’.
Key terms from Mitt Romney's election campaign
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Looking for tweets for optimism.