V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: one who is skeptical or distrustful of human nature and motives, believing that human actions are based in self-interest

Synonyms: pessimist, misanthrope, skeptic, scoffer

Antonyms: optimist, believer

Tips: Cynic is believed to come from the Greek word kynikos, literally "like a dog." Dogs in Greek culture weren't the household pets they are today; they roamed wild in cities, mistrustful of humans. The modern word refers to humans who are mistrustful of other people or their motives. The related adjective cynical describes a skeptical or mistrustful attitude. Cynicism is the noun, which denotes the cynical attitude itself.

Usage Examples:

Martha's cynicism made it difficult for her to believe that Bill had acquired his money by working hard and saving. (mistrust, skepticism) noun

The public is cynical about most politicians' motives, although many are honest and well-meaning. (skeptical, mistrustful) adjective

The cynic didn't believe that the man had given money to the charity for altruistic reasons; he though it was motivated by the man's desire for recognition. (pessimist, misanthrope)

I think it would be very depressing to live life as a cynic, always thinking the worst of people. (pessimist, skeptic, scoffer)

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