cynical

cynically, adv.cynicalness, n.
/sin"i keuhl/, adj.
1. like or characteristic of a cynic; distrusting or disparaging the motives of others.
2. showing contempt for accepted standards of honesty or morality by one's actions, esp. by actions that exploit the scruples of others.
3. bitterly or sneeringly distrustful, contemptuous, or pessimistic.
4. (cap.) cynic (def. 5).
[1580-90; CYNIC + -AL1]
Syn. 1, 3. CYNICAL, PESSIMISTIC, SARCASTIC, SATIRICAL imply holding a low opinion of humanity. CYNICAL suggests a disbelief in the sincerity of human motives: cynical about honesty. PESSIMISTIC implies a more or less habitual disposition to look on the dark side of things, and to believe that the worst will happen: pessimistic as to the future. SARCASTIC refers to sneering or making cutting jibes: sarcastic about a profession of faith. SATIRICAL suggests expressing scorn or ridicule by saying the opposite of what one means: a satirical attack on his political promises.
Ant. 1, 3. optimistic.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • cynical — cynical, misanthropic, pessimistic, misogynic are comparable when meaning deeply and often contemptuously dis trustful. Cynical implies a sneering disbelief in sincerity and integrity {the ease with which she asserted or denied whatever suited… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • cynical — [sin′i kəl] adj. [< L cynicus, of the Cynics: see CYNIC] 1. believing that people are motivated in all their actions only by selfishness; denying the sincerity of people s motives and actions, or the value of living 2. sarcastic, sneering, etc …   English World dictionary

  • cynical — I adjective acrimonious, apt to distrust, arrogant, caustic, cavalier, censorious, condemnatory, contemptuous, contumelious, critical, decrying, defamatory, defeatist, denunciatory, derisive, derogative, derogatory, despising, disapproving,… …   Law dictionary

  • cynical — 1580s, resembling Cynic philosophers, from CYNIC (Cf. cynic) + AL (Cf. al) (1). By late 17c. the meaning had shaded into the general one of critical, disparaging the motives of others, captious, sneering, peevish. Related: Cynically …   Etymology dictionary

  • cynical — [adj] nonbelieving; doubtful contemptuous, derisive, ironic, misanthropic, misanthropical, mocking, pessimistic, sarcastic, sardonic, scoffing, scornful, skeptical, sneering, suspicious, unbelieving, wry; concepts 267,403 Ant. believing, hopeful …   New thesaurus

  • cynical — ► ADJECTIVE 1) tending not to believe in the integrity or sincerity of others. 2) sceptical. 3) contemptuous; mocking. 4) concerned only with one s own interests. DERIVATIVES cynically adverb …   English terms dictionary

  • cynical — 01. Harvey is a very [cynical] guy who would never believe that anyone did anything out of generosity. 02. You are such a [cynic]! Don t you believe in anything? 03. Calvin s [cynical] view of the world has kept him from making many friends. 04.… …   Grammatical examples in English

  • Cynical — Cynic Cyn ic (s[i^]n [i^]k), Cynical Cyn ic*al ( [i^]*kal), a. [L. cynicus of the sect of Cynics, fr. Gr. kyniko s, prop., dog like, fr. ky wn, kyno s, dog. See {Hound}.] 1. Having the qualities of a surly dog; snarling; captious; currish. I hope …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cynical — adjective Date: 1542 1. captious, peevish 2. having or showing the attitude or temper of a cynic: as a. contemptuously distrustful of human nature and motives < those cynical men who say that democracy cannot be honest and efficient …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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  • cynical — [[t]sɪ̱nɪk(ə)l[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED If you describe someone as cynical, you mean they believe that people always act selfishly. ...his cynical view of the world. Ant: idealistic Derived words: cynically ADV GRADED ADV with v As a backpacker said… …   English dictionary

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