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cynical

[sin-i-kuhl]
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:
1580–90; cynic + -al1

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


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.


1, 3. optimistic.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
cynical (ˈsɪnɪkəl)
 
adj
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
 
'cynically
 
adv
 
'cynicalness
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

cynical
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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