WORD ORIGIN noun an excessively or blindly optimistic person. adjective ( Also often lowercase) Pol·ly·an·na·ish. unreasonably or illogically optimistic: some pollyanna notions about world peace. Origin of Pollyanna
from the name of the child heroine created by Eleanor Porter (1868–1920), American writer
Related forms Pol·ly·an·na·ism, noun
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for pollyannaish noun a person who is constantly or excessively optimistic Derived Forms Pollyannaish, 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 pollyannaish 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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
(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. 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.