What does optimism mean?

Definitions for optimism
ˈɒp təˌmɪz əmop·ti·mism

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. optimism(noun)

    the optimistic feeling that all is going to turn out well

  2. optimism(noun)

    a general disposition to expect the best in all things


  1. Optimism(n.)

    A habitual tendency or a present disposition to take the most hopeful view of future events, and to expect a favorable outcome even when unfavorable outcomes are possible; -- opposed to pessimism.

    Etymology: [L. optimus the best; akin to optio choice: cf. F. optimisme. See Option.]


  1. optimism(Noun)

    a tendency to expect the best, or at least, a favourable outcome

    I love her youth, her beauty and above all her optimism that everything will turn out fine.

  2. optimism(Noun)

    the doctrine that this world is the best of all possible worlds

  3. optimism(Noun)

    the belief that good will eventually triumph over evil


  1. Optimism

    Optimism is a mental attitude or world view that interprets situations and events as being best, meaning that in some way for factors that may not be fully comprehended, the present moment is in an optimum state. The concept is typically extended to include the attitude of hope for future conditions unfolding as optimal as well. The more broad concept of optimism is the understanding that all of nature, past, present and future, operates by laws of optimization along the lines of Hamilton's principle of optimization in the realm of physics. This understanding, although criticized by counter views such as pessimism, idealism and realism, leads to a state of mind that believes everything is as it should be, and that the future will be as well. A common idiom used to illustrate optimism versus pessimism is a glass with water at the halfway point, where the optimist is said to see the glass as half full, but the pessimist sees the glass as half empty. The word is originally derived from the Latin optimum, meaning "best." Being optimistic, in the typical sense of the word, ultimately means one expects the best possible outcome from any given situation. This is usually referred to in psychology as dispositional optimism.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Optimism

    op′ti-mizm, n. the doctrine that everything is ordered for the best: a disposition to take a hopeful view of things—opp. to Pessimism.—v.i. Op′timise, to take the most hopeful view of anything.—n. Op′timist, one who holds that everything is ordered for the best.—adj. Optimist′ic.—adv. Optimist′ically.—n. Op′timum (bot.), that point of temperature at which metabolic—i.e. vegetative and fructificative processes are best carried on. [L. optimus, best.]

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Optimism

    the doctrine or belief that in the system of things all that happens, the undesirable no less than the desirable, is for the best.

The Roycroft Dictionary

  1. optimism

    1. The instinct to lie. 2. Fatty degeneration of intelligence. 3. A philosophical system that attempts to demonstrate the existence of a pre-established Stupidity. 4. To believe that disease, dirt, earthquakes, fires, wars, politicians, blindness, and burial alive, celebrate and enhance the Glory of God. 5. To whistle while passing a cemetery in the night; to sing a hymn while having a tooth pulled; to smile while being robbed. 6. A tipple invented by Leigh Mitchell Hodges, the basis of which is clams and prune juice. 7. A kind of heart stimulant--the digitalis of failure.

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. optimism

    What a programmer is full of after fixing the last bug and before discovering the next last bug. Fred Brooks's book The Mythical Man-Month (See Brooks's Law) contains the following paragraph that describes this extremely well: All programmers are optimists. Perhaps this modern sorcery especially attracts those who believe in happy endings and fairy godmothers. Perhaps the hundreds of nitty frustrations drive away all but those who habitually focus on the end goal. Perhaps it is merely that computers are young, programmers are younger, and the young are always optimists. But however the selection process works, the result is indisputable: “This time it will surely run,” or “I just found the last bug.”. See also Lubarsky's Law of Cybernetic Entomology.

The Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz


    A cheerful frame of mind that enables a tea-kettle to sing though in hot water up to its nose.

Editors Contribution

  1. optimism

    To feel, know and be optimistic.

    The sense of optimism is beautiful to feel.

    Submitted by MaryC on May 7, 2020  

How to pronounce optimism?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say optimism in sign language?

  1. optimism


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of optimism in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of optimism in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of optimism in a Sentence

  1. Deodatta V. Shenai-Khatkhate:

    Often in life, you have to work on both fronts, dealing objectively with diametrically opposite premises, and then arriving at the best solution. The open mindedness enables you to be a realist who is also an optimist at heart. Strange as it may seem, you hope for the best, and also expect the worst at the same time. You operate in the real world with best positive attitude, while understanding fully well what is practically possible in a given situation. This synergistic combination of realistic optimism ( or optimistic realism) can help you to deal with problems in an effective and positive manner, in my view, especially during the challenging phases in life.

  2. Voltaire, Candide:

    [Optimism is] the obstinacy of maintaining that everything is best when it is worst.

  3. Nebraska Missy Franklin:

    It's funny because I find Nebraska Missy Franklin similar in so many ways and also different in so many ways, i think overall my attitude, my optimism, kind of the bubbly girl that won't stop talking on deck, that's all exactly the same.

  4. Lucille Ball:

    One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn't pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.

  5. Michael James:

    Overall, the tone of the market has gotten much better in the last week, and nothing happened overnight to dent that optimism, even with China down nearly 6 percent.

Images & Illustrations of optimism

  1. optimismoptimismoptimismoptimismoptimism

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Translations for optimism

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