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[neg-uh-ti-viz-uh m] /ˈnɛg ə tɪˌvɪz əm/
a negative or pessimistic attitude.
Psychology. a tendency to resist external commands, suggestions, or expectations, or internal stimuli, as hunger, by doing nothing or something contrary or unrelated to the stimulus.
any system of negative philosophy, as agnosticism or skepticism.
Origin of negativism
1815-25; negative + -ism
Related forms
negativist, noun
negativistic, adjective
nonnegativism, noun
nonnegativistic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for negativism
  • Today, we're going to be that nattering nabob of negativism.
  • Certainly there is much to be done, but fearfulness and negativism is a sure path to failure.
  • Yet a paralyzing negativism dominates global-warming politics.
  • We see a lot of negativism, and it has an impact on us.
  • Doesn't the left realize that all this negativism is self defeating.
  • Let's make our colleges the place that people can look up too, not a place of negativism.
British Dictionary definitions for negativism


a tendency to be or a state of being unconstructively critical
any sceptical or derisive system of thought
(psychiatry) refusal to do what is expected or suggested or the tendency to do the opposite
Derived Forms
negativist, noun, adjective
negativistic, adjective
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 negativism

1824, "the policy of opposition;" see negative + -ism. In a psychological sense, it is attested from 1892.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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negativism in Medicine

negativism neg·a·tiv·ism (něg'ə-tĭ-vĭz'əm)
A tendency to do the opposite of what one is requested to do, or to resist stubbornly for no apparent reason.

neg'a·tiv·ist n.
neg'a·tiv·is'tic adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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