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See more synonyms for pessimistic on Thesaurus.com
  1. 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.
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Origin of pessimistic

First recorded in 1865–70; pessimist + -ic
Related formspes·si·mis·ti·cal·ly, adverbnon·pes·si·mis·tic, adjectivenon·pes·si·mis·ti·cal·ly, adverbo·ver·pes·si·mis·tic, adjectiveo·ver·pes·si·mis·ti·cal·ly, adverbun·pes·si·mis·tic, adjectiveun·pes·si·mis·ti·cal·ly, adverb


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Synonym study

See cynical.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for pessimistically

Historical Examples

  • “It is just his sort that fail on these occasions,” put in Mrs. Ganthorn pessimistically.

    The Hound From The North

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • The passengers eyed the half-defaced lettering, pessimistically.

  • “I never was partial to Wildcat Canyon,” he remarked, pessimistically.

    Across the Mesa

    Jarvis Hall

  • "Bad sisson too to have strike," replied the second pessimistically.

  • "It may come back at us," suggested Fowndes pessimistically.

    A Far Country, Complete

    Winston Churchill

Word Origin and History for pessimistically



1866, from pessimist + -ic.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper