• WordNet 3.6
    • n cynicism a cynical feeling of distrust
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Cynicism sĭn"ĭ*sĭz'm The doctrine of the Cynics; the quality of being cynical; the mental state, opinions, or conduct, of a cynic; morose and contemptuous views and opinions.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n cynicism The body of doctrine inculcated and practised by the Cynics; indifference to pleasure; stoicism pushed to austerity, asceticism, or acerbity.
    • n cynicism The character or state of being cynical; cynicalness.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Cynicism surliness: contempt for human nature: heartlessness, misanthropy
    • ***


  • H. L. Mencken
    “A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.”
  • H. L. Mencken
    “The cynics are right nine times out of ten.”
  • George Meredith
    “Cynicism is intellectual dandyism.”
  • George Bernard Shaw
    “The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.”
  • Henry Lewis Stimson
    Henry Lewis Stimson
    “The only deadly sin I know is cynicism.”
  • Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree
    Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree
    “Cynicism is the humor of hatred.”


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. kynikos, dog-like—kyōn, kynos, a dog; cf. L. can-is.


In literature:

CRATES, a Greek cynic philosopher, disciple of Diogenes; 4th century B.C.
"The Nuttall Encyclopaedia" by Edited by Rev. James Wood
In spite of Aunt Jane's saying that he is a cynical foreigner I like him!
"The Reason Why" by Elinor Glyn
By temperament he was a dilettante and cynic, who affected not to take life seriously.
"The Moon Rock" by Arthur J. Rees
Here was neither veil nor reserve, but cynically avowed putrefaction.
"The Man Who Laughs" by Victor Hugo
If cynics growl or grin, lads, We'll drive them back to their tubs.
"Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 100. March 14, 1891." by Various
She had seen him leaning against the door-post, a half-cynical, half-kindly smile floating through his gold moustache.
"Evelyn Innes" by George Moore
I do not think you are quite sure what a 'cynic' is.
"Mr. Isaacs" by F. Marion Crawford
They spoke of nothing but politics, which she did not understand, and Cheiron chaffed him a good deal in his kindly cynical way.
"Halcyone" by Elinor Glyn
He would have had some urbane, cynical and delightfully disillusioning remarks to offer.
"Mince Pie" by Christopher Darlington Morley
His tone had a touch of cynical cruel patience.
"Leonora" by Arnold Bennett

In poetry:

Bill Jones was cynical and sad;
He thought sincerity was rare;
Most people, Bill believed, were bad
And few were fair.
"Jim And Bill" by Franklin Pierce Adams
Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
"Desiderata - Words for Life" by Max Ehrmann
"And is this all?" the cynic sneers,
"The remnant of a shrine?"
Alas for him who never hears
Or heeds the world divine
And in this fragment fails to see
A stepping-stone to Deity!
"Delio Patri" by John Lawson Stoddard
If'tis a dream to seek in bonds unbreaking,
To link the many-peopled homes of Earth—
One God, one law, one love, one worship taking,
Then, statesman, curl the lip in cynic mirth.
"An Apology" by Edwin Arnold
FOOLS can parrot-cry the prophet when the proof is close at hand,
And the blind can see the danger when the foe is in the land!
Truth was never cynicism, death or ruin’s not a joke,
“Told-you-so” is not a warning—Patriotism not a croak.
"Since the Cities are the Cities" by Henry Lawson
High above flood and fire ye held the scroll,
Out of the depths ye published still the Word.
No bodily pang had power to swerve your soul:
Ye, in a cynic age of crumbling faiths,
Lived to bear witness to the living Lord,
Or died a thousand deaths.
"The New Year. Rosh-Hashanah, 5643" by Emma Lazarus

In news:

In today's Republican Party, the only choice is between cynics and zealots.
Calls NBC's move 'cynical, cold-hearted, unprofessional'.
The Pendulum Swings Away From Cynicism.
Making wine in Pennsylvania, it seems, has long been a grand cru invitation to cynicism.
The pessimist vs the cynical pessimist .
Beatcomber has always settled somewhere between starstruck and cynical, and after all the hobnobbing, cocktailing, and white-carpeting, he feels even more divided.
Count me among those cynics who thought that former Gov Mark Sanford established benchmarks for chutzpah and hypocrisy that would stand for generations.
The cynic in us warns us that President Bush will not let it become law, but the Senate Judiciary Committee offered a remedy this week to the administration's power grab in the criminal justice system.
Linspire says yes, but Cyber Cynic Steven J Vaughan-Nichols and others are not so sure.
Hey, Dave: So let me guess - you're one of those cynics who thinks this team is finished, right.
Hey, Danny: As the Perfessor always says, "Cynicism is an unpleasant way of telling the truth".
The pessimist vs the cynical pessimist.
Robert Pattinson shows chilling range in bleak, cynical 'Cosmopolis'.
Shaman poet Joaquin Lopez defies even the most cynical guy.
Sean Penn is slamming cynics who have criticized his recent trip to Haiti.

In science:

It is, on the contrary, because the resulting world-view is so much more integrated, and makes more sense in so many ways, than any previous world-view, and certainly more than the cynical pragmatism which too often nowadays serves as surrogate for a world-view amongst scientists.
Definability in the Real Universe
It is wrong to be cynical about such an exercise, but it is correct to be disappointed.
Theoretical Summary Lecture for EPS HEP99
While the data indeed can be improved and polished, one might be inclined to draw a somewhat cynical summary: ”Charm – from a revolutionary to a petit bourgeois!” Such evolutions do indeed often happen in history; I will however argue that it is decidedly wrong here.
Heavy Flavour Physics: On Its More Than 50 Years Of History, Its Future And The Rio Manifesto
According to Simplicius, Diogenes the Cynic after hearing this argument from Zeno’s followers silently stood up and walked, so pointing out that it is a matter of the most common experience that things in fact do move .
Zeno meets modern science
Were we wearing our cynical hat today, we might say that the scientist who wants to become famous is better off—by a wide margin—writing a modest paper in next year’s hottest field than an outstanding paper in this year’s.
The first-mover advantage in scientific publication