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[sin-uh-siz-uh m] /ˈsɪn əˌsɪz əm/
cynical disposition, character, or belief.
a cynical remark.
(initial capital letter) any of the doctrines or practices of the Cynics.
Origin of cynicism
1665-75; cynic + -ism
Related forms
anticynicism, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for cynicism
  • It means being openly optimistic and spiritual in times when the cruelest cynicism is admired.
  • Anger, cynicism and name-calling won't make extreme weather and global warming go away.
  • Cynics might note that the only accomplishment was an agreement to talk some more, and their cynicism may yet be confirmed.
  • The trait that astounded and confounded cynicism was his apparent unselfishness.
  • Such people need to rethink their cynicism because it distorts their thinking.
  • The cynicism definitely lingers but it leads nowhere in particular or perhaps to the retelling of old dreams and fantasies.
  • But others in academe greeted the news with a certain amount of cynicism, or even outright suspicion.
  • Consequently there's a high rate of burn out and certainly a deep level of cynicism.
  • Were the press any other industry, cynicism about its self-interest in promoting marginal challengers would prevail.
  • In politics-especially right now, with the election a day away-cynicism is easy.
British Dictionary definitions for cynicism


the attitude or beliefs of a cynic
a cynical action, remark, idea, etc


the doctrines of the Cynics
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cynicism

1670s, "philosophy of the Cynics," from cynic + -ism. Meaning "cynical character" is from 1847. For nuances of usage of cynicism, see humor.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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