a person who believes that only selfishness motivates human actions and who disbelieves in or minimizes selfless acts or disinterested points of view.
(initial capital letter) one of a sect of Greek philosophers, 4th century b.c., who advocated the doctrines that virtue is the only good, that the essence of virtue is self-control, and that surrender to any external influence is beneath human dignity.
a person who shows or expresses a bitterly or sneeringly cynical attitude.
mid-16c., from Gk. kynikos, lit. "dog-like," from kyon (gen. kynos) "dog." Supposedly from the sneering sarcasm of the philosophers, but more likely from Kynosarge "Grey Dog," name of the gymnasium in ancient Athens where the founder, Antisthenes (a pupil of Socrates), taught. Diogenes was the most
famous. Popular association even in ancient times was "dog-like." For nuances of usage of cynicism, see humor.