noun /ˈsɪn.ɪˌsɪzəm/
a) a distrustful attitude

David T Wolf: "Idealism is what precedes experience; cynicism is what follows."

b) an emotion of jaded negativity, or a general distrust of the integrity or professed motives of other people. Cynicism can manifest itself by frustration, disillusionment and distrust in regard to organizations, authorities and other aspects of society, often due to previous bad experience. Cynics often view others as motivated solely by disguised self-interest.

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  • cynicism — 1670s, philosophy of the Cynics, from CYNIC (Cf. cynic) + ISM (Cf. ism). Meaning cynical character is from 1847. For nuances of usage of cynicism, see HUMOR (Cf. humor) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Cynicism — Cyn i*cism (s[i^]n [i^]*s[i^]z m), n. The doctrine of the Cynics; the quality of being cynical; the mental state, opinions, or conduct, of a cynic; morose and contemptuous views and opinions. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cynicism — index irony, pessimism, suspicion (mistrust) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • cynicism — [sin′ə siz΄əm] n. 1. [C ] the philosophy of the Cynics 2. the attitudes or beliefs of a cynical person 3. a cynical remark, idea, or action …   English World dictionary

  • Cynicism — Cynic redirects here. For the modern understanding of the word cynicism , see Cynicism (contemporary). For other uses, see Cynic (disambiguation). Statue of an unknown Cynic philosopher from the Capitoline Museum in Rome. This statue is a Roman… …   Wikipedia

  • cynicism — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ bitter, jaded (esp. AmE), weary (esp. BrE) ▪ He spoke in a tone of weary cynicism. ▪ deep ▪ widespread …   Collocations dictionary

  • cynicism — [[t]sɪ̱nɪsɪzəm[/t]] 1) N UNCOUNT Cynicism is the belief that people always act selfishly. I found Ben s cynicism wearing at times. Ant: idealism 2) N UNCOUNT Cynicism about something is the belief that it cannot be successful or that the people… …   English dictionary

  • CYNICISM —    a school of Greek PHILOSOPHY dating to the fifth century B.C. which taught living a simple life and rigorous self control. Because of their ridicule of social mores and personal follies, cynicism became associated with a negative attitude of… …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • cynicism — noun theirs was a childhood of absent parents and broken promises, so cynicism was hardly a surprise Syn: skepticism, doubt, distrust, mistrust, suspicion, disbelief; pessimism, negativity, world weariness, disenchantment Ant: idealism …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • cynicism — cynic ► NOUN 1) a person who has little faith in the integrity or sincerity of others. 2) a sceptic. 3) (Cynic) (in ancient Greece) a member of a school of philosophers founded by Antisthenes, characterized by an ostentatious contempt for wealth… …   English terms dictionary

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