[ pes-uh-miz-uh m ]
/ ˈpɛs əˌmɪz əm /


the tendency to see, anticipate, or emphasize only bad or undesirable outcomes, results, conditions, problems, etc.: His pessimism about the future of our country depresses me.
the doctrine that the existing world is the worst of all possible worlds, or that all things naturally tend to evil.
the belief that the evil and pain in the world are not compensated for by goodness and happiness.

Origin of pessimism

1785–95; < Latin pessim(us), suppletive superlative of malus bad + -ism; modeled on optimism


o·ver·pes·si·mism, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for pessimism

British Dictionary definitions for pessimism

/ (ˈpɛsɪˌmɪzəm) /


the tendency to expect the worst and see the worst in all things
the doctrine of the ultimate triumph of evil over good
the doctrine that this world is corrupt and that man's sojourn in it is a preparation for some other existence

Derived forms of pessimism

pessimist, nounpessimistic or rare pessimistical, adjectivepessimistically, adverb

Word Origin for pessimism

C18: from Latin pessimus worst, from malus bad
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