Cynicism is the feeling of distrust or that something isn't going to work out well. Some people feel cynicism when politicians make big promises.

To pronounce cynicism, place the accent on the first syllable: "SIH-nuh-cih-zum." You might associate cynicism with sarcasm. Cynicism comes from believing that people are, at heart, selfish and untrustworthy. Sarcasm is the expression of negative feelings like cynicism, by expressing, for dramatic effect, the opposite of what is meant: "I'm quite sure that politician took that bribe by mistake. We all know how easy it is to overlook the sudden appearance of $2 million dollars in your checking account."

Definitions of cynicism

n a cynical feeling of distrust

Type of:
the feeling that things will turn out badly

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.