from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun One who accepts the metaphysical doctrine of pessimism, in either sense.
  • noun One who exaggerates the evils of life or is disposed to see only its dark side; one who is given to melancholy or depressing views of life.
  • Same as pessimistic.

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

  • noun (Metaph.) One who advocates the doctrine of pessimism; -- opposed to optimist.
  • noun One who looks on the dark side of things.
  • adjective (Metaph.) Of or pertaining to pessimism; characterized by pessimism; gloomy; foreboding.

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

  • noun Someone who given a choice of outcomes, believes the worst is more likely.

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

  • noun a person who expects the worst


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • In popular language the term pessimist is applied to persons who habitually take a melancholy view of life, to whom painful experiences appeal with great intensity, and who have little corresponding appreciation of pleasurable ones.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 11: New Mexico-Philip 1840-1916 1913

  • I think that a pessimist is a curse to any country, for after all, any fool can preach the gospel of

    Canadian Unity 1924

  • One petroleum engineer -- Michael Economides of the University of Houston -- calls peak oil predictions "the figments of the imaginations of born-again pessimist geologists."

    Sound Politics: Global Warming Update 2007

  • Before five minutes are up, the pessimist is screaming and wailing in his room.

    Art of Possibility (Copy) ____Maggie 2006

  • Before five minutes are up, the pessimist is screaming and wailing in his room.

    Archive 2006-04-01 ____Maggie 2006

  • And, you know, as I said, as a long-term pessimist, I'm looking at this and thinking maybe this is a point where everybody is tired of all the death and killing.

    CNN Transcript Jun 4, 2003 2003

  • Ms. O'TOOLE: Well, I have -- I-- I finally figured out that I'm a short-term pessimist and a long-term optimist.

    Money & Morals in America 1998

  • A true Christian is a short term pessimist but a long term optimist.

    1. The Work of IDAF 1965

  • I don't remember the name of the great Frenchman, but he was a man of perception who said that the optimist lives in the world, and the pessimist is only a spectator.

    Some Conditions in Australia 1905

  • There is nothing for it except to be a “short-term pessimist” i.e. to keep out of politics, make a sort of oasis within which you and your friends can remain sane, and hope that somehow things will be better in a hundred years.

    Collected Essays 1900


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