What does cynicism mean?

Definitions for cynicismˈsɪn əˌsɪz əm

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word cynicism.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. cynicism(noun)

    a cynical feeling of distrust


  1. Cynicism(ProperNoun)

    the philosophy of the Greek Cynics

  2. cynicism(Noun)

    a distrustful attitude

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

  3. cynicism(Noun)

    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.

  4. cynicism(Noun)

    a skeptical, scornful or pessimistic comment or act

  5. Origin: From Cynicism, ; compare cynism

Webster Dictionary

  1. Cynicism(noun)

    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


  1. Cynicism

    Cynicism is a school of ancient Greek philosophy as practiced by the Cynics. For the Cynics, the purpose of life was to live in virtue, in agreement with nature. As reasoning creatures, people could gain happiness by rigorous training and by living in a way which was natural for humans, rejecting all conventional desires for wealth, power, sex, and fame. Instead, they were to lead a simple life free from all possessions. The first philosopher to outline these themes was Antisthenes, who had been a pupil of Socrates in the late 5th century BC. He was followed by Diogenes of Sinope, who lived in a tub on the streets of Athens. Diogenes took Cynicism to its logical extremes, and came to be seen as the archetypal Cynic philosopher. He was followed by Crates of Thebes who gave away a large fortune so he could live a life of Cynic poverty in Athens. Cynicism spread with the rise of Imperial Rome in the 1st century, and Cynics could be found begging and preaching throughout the cities of the Empire. It finally disappeared in the late 5th century, although some have claimed that early Christianity adopted many of its ascetic and rhetorical ideas.


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of cynicism in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of cynicism in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Lillian Hellman:

    Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth.

  2. Lillian Hellman:

    Cynicism is an unpleasant way of telling the truth.

  3. Albert Camus:

    The temptation shared by all forms of intelligence cynicism.

  4. David T. Wolf:

    Idealism is what precedes experience cynicism is what follows.

  5. David T. Wolf:

    Idealism is what precedes experience; cynicism is what follows.

Images & Illustrations of cynicism

  1. cynicismcynicismcynicism

Translations for cynicism

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"cynicism." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 23 Mar. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/cynicism>.

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