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[op-tuh-mist] /ˈɒp tə mɪst/
an optimistic person.
a person who holds the belief or the doctrine of optimism.
Origin of optimist
1760-70; < French optimiste < Latin optim(um) (see optimum) + French -iste -ist
Related forms
antioptimist, noun, adjective
overoptimist, noun
superoptimist, noun
Can be confused
cynic, optimist, pessimist, skeptic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for optimist
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He is called an optimist; but the word suggests a calculated contentment which was not in the least one of his vices.

  • Once a letter spoke of the desirability of being an optimist.

  • Cursing himself for an optimist, he raised two more of the missiles from the magazine.

    This World Must Die! Horace Brown Fyfe
  • The optimist of Candide was a Mallock in mourning compared to this.

    Memoirs Charles Godfrey Leland
  • An optimist in nothing, least of all was Royston Keene grateful or indulgent to the beauties and bounties of inanimate creation.

    Sword and Gown George A. Lawrence
Word Origin and History for optimist

1759, from French optimiste (1752); see optimism + -ist.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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