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[pes-uh-mis-tik] /ˌpɛs əˈmɪs tɪk/
pertaining to or characterized by pessimism or the tendency to expect only bad outcomes; gloomy; joyless; unhopeful:
His pessimistic outlook kept him from applying for jobs for which he was perfectly qualified.
Origin of pessimistic
1865-70; pessimist + -ic
Related forms
pessimistically, adverb
nonpessimistic, adjective
nonpessimistically, adverb
overpessimistic, adjective
overpessimistically, adverb
unpessimistic, adjective
unpessimistically, adverb
despairing, hopeless. See cynical. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for pessimistic
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Historical Examples
  • Of course, there was always the possibility of bad weather or a broken cable, but the Catspaw's crew declined to be pessimistic.

    The Adventure Club Afloat Ralph Henry Barbour
  • I tried him with my pessimistic conclusions to see how he took it.

    The Mystery of the Green Ray William Le Queux
  • Billy Kernahan laughed at his pessimistic utterances and assured him that outdoor work would do wonders for him.

    On Your Mark! Ralph Henry Barbour
  • We would not be understood to refer to this in a pessimistic spirit.

    The Buffalo Runners R.M. Ballantyne
  • This pessimistic aspect of Imperialism has certainly to some extent an historical basis.

Word Origin and History for pessimistic

1866, from pessimist + -ic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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