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optimism

[op-tuh-miz-uh m] /ˈɒp təˌmɪz əm/
noun
1.
a disposition or tendency to look on the more favorable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favorable outcome.
2.
the belief that good ultimately predominates over evil in the world.
3.
the belief that goodness pervades reality.
4.
the doctrine that the existing world is the best of all possible worlds.
Origin
1730-1740
1730-40; < French optimisme < Latin optim(um) (see optimum) + French -isme -ism
Related forms
antioptimism, noun
overoptimism, noun
Synonyms
1. confidence, hopefulness, cheerfulness.
Antonyms
1, 2. pessimism, cynicism.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for overoptimism

overoptimism

/ˌəʊvərˈɒptɪˌmɪzəm/
noun
1.
excessive hopefulness or confidence

optimism

/ˈɒptɪˌmɪzəm/
noun
1.
the tendency to expect the best and see the best in all things
2.
hopefulness; confidence
3.
the doctrine of the ultimate triumph of good over evil
4.
the philosophical doctrine that this is the best of all possible worlds
Compare pessimism
Derived Forms
optimist, noun
optimistic, optimistical, adjective
optimistically, adverb
Word Origin
C18: from French optimisme, from Latin optimus best, superlative of bonus good
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 overoptimism

optimism

n.

1759 (in translations of Voltaire), from French optimisme (1737), from Modern Latin optimum, used by Gottfried Leibniz (in "Théodicée," 1710) to mean "the greatest good," from Latin optimus "the best" (see optimum). The doctrine holds that the actual world is the "best of all possible worlds," in which the creator accomplishes the most good at the cost of the least evil.

En termes de l'art, il l'appelle la raison du meilleur ou plus savamment encore, et Theologiquement autant que Géométriquement, le systême de l'Optimum, ou l'Optimisme. [Mémoires de Trévoux, Feb. 1737]
Launched out of philosophical jargon and into currency by Voltaire's satire on it in "Candide." General sense of "belief that good ultimately will prevail in the world" first attested 1841 in Emerson; meaning "tendency to take a hopeful view of things" first recorded 1819 in Shelley.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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