Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An attitude of scornful or jaded negativity, especially a general distrust of the integrity or professed motives of others.
  • noun A scornfully or jadedly negative comment or act.
  • noun The beliefs of the ancient Cynics.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The body of doctrine inculcated and practised by the Cynics; indifference to pleasure; stoicism pushed to austerity, asceticism, or acerbity.
  • noun The character or state of being cynical; cynicalness.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The doctrine of the Cynics; the quality of being cynical; the mental state, opinions, or conduct, of a cynic; morose and contemptuous views and opinions.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun uncountable a distrustful attitude
  • noun uncountable an emotion of jaded negativity, or a general distrust of the integrity or professed motives of other people. Cynicism can manifest itself by frustration, disillusionment and distrust in regard to organizations, authorities and other aspects of society, often due to previous bad experience. Cynics often view others as motivated solely by disguised self-interest.
  • noun countable a skeptical, scornful or pessimistic comment or act

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a cynical feeling of distrust

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Cynicism, cynic +‎ -ism; compare cynism

Examples

  • In the spirit of Barack Obama, he warned them that cynicism is the enemy, “cynicism” being the code word du jour for any skepticism about liberal proposals to perfect mankind under the tutelage of a benevolent government.

    Africa

  • In the spirit of Barack Obama, he warned them that cynicism is the enemy, “cynicism” being the code word du jour for any skepticism about liberal proposals to perfect mankind under the tutelage of a benevolent government.

    Natural Disasters

  • In the spirit of Barack Obama, he warned them that cynicism is the enemy, “cynicism” being the code word du jour for any skepticism about liberal proposals to perfect mankind under the tutelage of a benevolent government.

    Stromata Blog:

  • In the spirit of Barack Obama, he warned them that cynicism is the enemy, “cynicism” being the code word du jour for any skepticism about liberal proposals to perfect mankind under the tutelage of a benevolent government.

    Rachel Carson’s Victims, R.I.P.

  • And at the same time, if I may, you often decry what you call a cynicism that you believe is pervasive in Washington, but given the amounts of money that were raised last year, the way they were raised and some of the explanations for the way they were raised, isn't the public entitled to a little bit of healthy skepticism, if not cynicism, about the entire process?

    Remarks By The President At Press Conference

  • That said, I think there is a genuine warmth and gracious embrace of humanity - with all its flaws and foibles - among most Mexicans that seems to be lacking, or layered in cynicism, among people from the U.S. or people from most western European countries (with which I am most familiar).

    Dialect and Language discussion - pulled from another thread . . .

  • That said, I think there is a genuine warmth and gracious embrace of humanity - with all its flaws and foibles - among most Mexicans that seems to be lacking, or layered in cynicism, among people from the U.S. or people from most western European countries (with which I am most familiar).

    Dialect and Language discussion - pulled from another thread . . .

  • That said, I think there is a genuine warmth and gracious embrace of humanity - with all its flaws and foibles - among most Mexicans that seems to be lacking, or layered in cynicism, among people from the U.S. or people from most western European countries (with which I am most familiar).

    Dialect and Language discussion - pulled from another thread . . .

  • We are still scared of the idea of power in the hands of the people and our own cynicism is part of the problem. on March 29, 2010 at 11: 45 pm allcoppedout

    Policing Pledge Is A Lie SHOCK « POLICE INSPECTOR BLOG

  • As you say boss, this cynicism is replicated by the politicians, sorry, senior officers, who run police ‘services’ up and down the land; no connection with the people they serve and even less interest in the issues that concern said people.

    Bigotgate – the Diversity Trainers nightmare. « POLICE INSPECTOR BLOG

Comments

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  • A grizzled ole timer with pad and pencil was asking passersby:

    “Pardon, but is ‘cynicism’ spelled with two ‘I’s’ or one ‘me’?�?

    --Jan Cox

    August 31, 2007

  • An unpleasant way of stating the facts.

    May 19, 2009