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[pes-uh-mis-tik] /ˌpɛs əˈmɪs tɪk/
pertaining to or characterized by pessimism or the tendency to expect only bad outcomes; gloomy; joyless; unhopeful:
His pessimistic outlook kept him from applying for jobs for which he was perfectly qualified.
Origin of pessimistic
1865-70; pessimist + -ic
Related forms
pessimistically, adverb
nonpessimistic, adjective
nonpessimistically, adverb
overpessimistic, adjective
overpessimistically, adverb
unpessimistic, adjective
unpessimistically, adverb
despairing, hopeless. See cynical. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for pessimistically
Historical Examples
  • "Well, we are beginning to think that we dreamed it," said Allen, pessimistically.

  • The passengers eyed the half-defaced lettering, pessimistically.

  • Nan, with much coy reluctance and very Gallic gestures, rendered what was pessimistically called her "naughty little French song."

    Smith College Stories Josephine Dodge Daskam
  • “It is just his sort that fail on these occasions,” put in Mrs. Ganthorn pessimistically.

    The Hound From The North Ridgwell Cullum
  • He goes slowly and pessimistically, and likes to see the halfpenny before he tips his measure.

    The Vultures Henry Seton Merriman
  • "It may come back at us," suggested Fowndes pessimistically.

    A Far Country, Complete Winston Churchill
  • Barlasch pessimistically went the round of these bivouacs, but rarely found anything worth carrying away.

    Barlasch of the Guard H. S. Merriman
  • They correctly—and pessimistically—assumed that their coming was only rare.

    The Forgotten Planet Murray Leinster
  • "I shall fall and break my neck getting off the train," said Grandma pessimistically.

  • Roberts, pessimistically: "I don't see how it would have made her the cook."

    The Albany Depot W. D. Howells
Word Origin and History for pessimistically



1866, from pessimist + -ic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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