[ pes-uh-mist ]
/ ˈpɛs ə mɪst /


a person who habitually sees or anticipates the worst or is disposed to be gloomy.
an adherent of the doctrine of pessimism.

Nearby words

  1. pesky,
  2. peso,
  3. peso boliviano,
  4. pessary,
  5. pessimism,
  6. pessimistic,
  7. pessoa,
  8. pest,
  9. pest house,
  10. pestalozzi

Origin of pessimist

First recorded in 1830–40; pessim(ism) + -ist

Can be confusedcynic optimist pessimist skeptic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pessimist

Word Origin and History for pessimist



1820, "one who habitually expects the worst" (Knowles' dictionary, 1835, defines it as "A universal complainer"), from 19c. French pessimiste (see pessimism).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper