[ neg-uh-ti-viz-uh m ]
/ ˈnɛg ə tɪˌvɪz əm /


a negative or pessimistic attitude.
Psychology. a tendency to resist external commands, suggestions, or expectations, or internal stimuli, as hunger, by doing nothing or something contrary or unrelated to the stimulus.
any system of negative philosophy, as agnosticism or skepticism.

Origin of negativism

First recorded in 1815–25; negative + -ism


neg·a·tiv·ist, nounneg·a·tiv·is·tic, adjectivenon·neg·a·tiv·ism, nounnon·neg·a·tiv·is·tic, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for negativist

/ (ˈnɛɡətɪvˌɪzəm) /


a tendency to be or a state of being unconstructively critical
any sceptical or derisive system of thought
psychiatry refusal to do what is expected or suggested or the tendency to do the opposite

Derived forms of negativism

negativist, noun, adjectivenegativistic, adjective
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

Medicine definitions for negativist

[ nĕgə-tĭ-vĭz′əm ]


A tendency to do the opposite of what one is requested to do, or to resist stubbornly for no apparent reason.

Other words from negativism

nega•tiv•ist n.neg′a•tiv•istic adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.