SKIP TO CONTENT

cynical

If you think public officials are nothing but a bunch of greedy buffoons, you have a cynical attitude about politics.

A cynical person has a bleak outlook about others, always imagining that people are ruled by their worst instincts. H.L. Mencken was famous for saying cynical things like, "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public." The original Cynics were ancient Greek philosophers who never had a good word to say about anyone. The Greek word kynikos actually means "canine," maybe because all of that sneering seemed a little dog-like.

Definitions of cynical
  1. adjective
    believing the worst of human nature and motives; having a sneering disbelief in e.g. selflessness of others
    synonyms: misanthropic, misanthropical
    distrustful
    having or showing distrust
Word Family
EDITOR'S CHOICE
F1 image

Express yourself in 25 languages

  • Learn immersively - no memorization required
  • Build skills for real-world conversations
  • Get immediate feedback on your pronunciation
Get started for $7.99/month