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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 optimists
  • To look out in the future, it is better to be optimists than pessimists.
  • Yet even oil optimists concede that physical limits are beginning to loom.
  • optimists say solar power could become as economical and efficient as fossil fuels.
  • Because wild-eyed optimists once said technology would change everything, it must have changed nothing.
  • Global warming tends to inspire great huddles of pessimists and smaller gaggles of optimists.
  • Still, technological optimists argue that industrial societies will go on solving problems as they arise.
  • Both were optimists who believed in progress but were dubious about grand schemes that claimed to know all the answers.
  • Perhaps, say the optimists, all that's needed is a new way of thinking about earthquakes.
  • Collier describes his own position as advocating a reasonable middle way between aid optimists and pessimists.
  • optimists will note that some of the problems above were temporary.
Word Origin and History for optimists



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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