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Pollyanna

[pol-ee-an-uh]
noun
  1. an excessively or blindly optimistic person.
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adjective
  1. (often lowercase) Also Pol·ly·an·na·ish. unreasonably or illogically optimistic: some pollyanna notions about world peace.
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Origin of Pollyanna

from the name of the child heroine created by Eleanor Porter (1868–1920), American writer
Related formsPol·ly·an·na·ism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for pollyanna

dreamer, idealist, hoper

Examples from the Web for pollyanna

Historical Examples of pollyanna

  • "Pollyanna" gives a better appreciation of people and the world.

    The Ghost Breaker

    Paul Dickey

  • He looked like Pollyanna, after eight or ten shots at the middleweight title.

    Occasion for Disaster

    Gordon Randall Garrett

  • All this Pollyanna frou-frou is all right as frosting—but you've left out the cake!

    Telempathy

    Vance Simonds

  • Pollyanna died and, of course, she was glad and went to Heaven.

  • It is a fine thing to read a story like Pollyanna and get all excited over it.


British Dictionary definitions for pollyanna

Pollyanna

noun
  1. a person who is constantly or excessively optimistic
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Derived FormsPollyannaish, adjective

Word Origin for Pollyanna

C20: after the chief character in Pollyanna (1913), a novel by Eleanor Porter (1868–1920), US writer
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

Word Origin and History for pollyanna

Pollyanna

n.

"one who finds cause for gladness in the most difficult situations," 1921, a reference to Pollyanna Whittier, child heroine of U.S. novelist Eleanor Hodgman Porter's "Pollyanna" (1913) and "Pollyanna Grows Up" (1915), who was noted for keeping her chin up during disasters.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pollyanna in Culture

Pollyanna

(1913) A children's book by the American author Eleanor H. Porter. The title character is an orphan girl who, despite the difficulties of her life, is always extremely cheerful.

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Note

A “Pollyanna” remains excessively sweet-tempered and optimistic even in adversity.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.