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7 Cycling Words

cynical

[sin-i-kuh l] /ˈsɪn ɪ kəl/
adjective
1.
distrusting or disparaging the motives of others; like or characteristic of a cynic.
2.
showing contempt for accepted standards of honesty or morality by one's actions, especially by actions that exploit the scruples of others.
3.
bitterly or sneeringly distrustful, contemptuous, or pessimistic.
4.
(initial capital letter) cynic (def 5).
Origin of cynical
1580-1590
1580-90; cynic + -al1
Related forms
cynically, adverb
cynicalness, noun
anticynical, adjective
anticynically, adverb
quasi-cynical, adjective
quasi-cynically, adverb
semicynical, adjective
semicynically, adverb
supercynical, adjective
supercynically, adverb
supercynicalness, noun
uncynical, adjective
uncynically, adverb
Synonyms
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.
Antonyms
1, 3. optimistic.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for cynical
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • When he is listening, I say all the horrid, cynical, heartless things I can think of.

    The Ordeal of Elizabeth Elizabeth Von Arnim
  • You're supposed to be suspicious, cynical, courageous, and completely trustworthy.

    Attrition Jim Wannamaker
  • The broad and cynical buffoonery of Scarron's burlesques had always shocked his severe and pure taste.

    A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot
  • Nan looked up quickly and repeated his question in cynical tones.

    The Root of Evil Thomas Dixon
  • I remembered how cynical she had always been as to the merits of her own sex.

    The First Violin Jessie Fothergill
British Dictionary definitions for cynical

cynical

/ˈsɪnɪkəl/
adjective
1.
distrustful or contemptuous of virtue, esp selflessness in others; believing the worst of others, esp that all acts are selfish
2.
sarcastic; mocking
3.
showing contempt for accepted standards of behaviour, esp of honesty or morality: the politician betrayed his promises in a cynical way
Derived Forms
cynically, adverb
cynicalness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cynical
adj.

1580s, "resembling Cynic philosophers," from cynic + -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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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