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cynical

[sin-i-kuh l] /ˈsɪn ɪ kəl/
adjective
1.
distrusting or disparaging the motives of others; like or characteristic of a cynic.
2.
showing contempt for accepted standards of honesty or morality by one's actions, especially by actions that exploit the scruples of others.
3.
bitterly or sneeringly distrustful, contemptuous, or pessimistic.
4.
(initial capital letter) cynic (def 5).
Origin
1580-1590
1580-90; cynic + -al1
Related forms
cynically, adverb
cynicalness, noun
anticynical, adjective
anticynically, adverb
quasi-cynical, adjective
quasi-cynically, adverb
semicynical, adjective
semicynically, adverb
supercynical, adjective
supercynically, adverb
supercynicalness, noun
uncynical, adjective
uncynically, adverb
Synonyms
1, 3. Cynical, pessimistic, sarcastic, satirical imply holding a low opinion of humanity. Cynical suggests a disbelief in the sincerity of human motives: cynical about honesty. Pessimistic implies a more or less habitual disposition to look on the dark side of things, and to believe that the worst will happen: pessimistic as to the future. Sarcastic refers to sneering or making cutting jibes: sarcastic about a profession of faith. Satirical suggests expressing scorn or ridicule by saying the opposite of what one means: a satirical attack on his political promises.
Antonyms
1, 3. optimistic.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for cynically
  • Walker, meanwhile, is cynically pitting private employees against public employees.
  • Secular universities have cynically forsaken biblical studies.
  • Less cynically, perhaps monotheism itself wasn't the advance, but the things that came along with it were.
  • Ergo, the lunar endeavors were impossible, and were cynically faked at the expense of gullible people everywhere.
  • He thought cynically how completely he was lacking in all human sympathy.
  • They cynically tied it to unemployment hoping voters would connect clean energy with unemployment.
  • Nevertheless, people routinely and cynically use drug treatment research as a political football.
  • And even the people who are supposed to be cool with cynically making money off image say she's taken things too far.
  • And it has been cynically exploited by politicians and generals alike.
  • Maybe the motives of the extremists this time were simply too cynically obvious to fool anyone.
British Dictionary definitions for cynically

cynical

/ˈsɪnɪkəl/
adjective
1.
distrustful or contemptuous of virtue, esp selflessness in others; believing the worst of others, esp that all acts are selfish
2.
sarcastic; mocking
3.
showing contempt for accepted standards of behaviour, esp of honesty or morality: the politician betrayed his promises in a cynical way
Derived Forms
cynically, adverb
cynicalness, noun
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 cynically

cynical

adj.

1580s, "resembling Cynic philosophers," from cynic + -al (1). By late 17c. the meaning had shaded into the general one of "critical, disparaging the motives of others, captious, sneering, peevish." Related: Cynically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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