cynicism

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n cynicism a cynical feeling of distrust
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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.
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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.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Cynicism surliness: contempt for human nature: heartlessness, misanthropy
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Quotations

  • H. L. Mencken
    H.%20L.%20Mencken
    “A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.”
  • H. L. Mencken
    H.%20L.%20Mencken
    “The cynics are right nine times out of ten.”
  • George Meredith
    George%20Meredith
    “Cynicism is intellectual dandyism.”
  • George Bernard Shaw
    George%20Bernard%20Shaw
    “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.”

Etymology

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

Usage

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
With a smile that was grimly cynical he veiled his soul.
"The Lamp in the Desert" by Ethel M. Dell
As Mr. Whibley says, he is not a cynic.
"The Art of Letters" by Robert Lynd
I know you are not a cynic.
"Chance" by Joseph Conrad
I'm not trying to be a cynical young person; I'm simply stating facts.
"The Kingdom Round the Corner" by Coningsby Dawson
One bright afternoon, just as I returned from a long walk, Mrs. Purblind ran over to see me, and soon afterward, Mrs. Cynic dropped in.
"How to Cook Husbands" by Elizabeth Strong Worthington
Cynicism for other reasons is also a menace.
"Introduction to the Science of Sociology" by Robert E. Park
I remembered how cynical she had always been as to the merits of her own sex.
"The First Violin" by Jessie Fothergill
Jeffrey did, as he had cynically foreseen, become a cause.
"The Prisoner" by Alice Brown
Why are you so cynical when I know you to be so sentimental?
"Melomaniacs" by James Huneker
On the average, woman is more artful and more modest; man coarser and more cynical, etc.
"The Sexual Question" by August Forel
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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.
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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
In fact, this is more cynical than the finite size of the universe postulated through big bang theory.
Causal set as a discretized phase spacetime
Cynics will say that the Pomeron structure function revealed by the S p ¯pS experiment is no more than a remnant of the cuts on the data.
Blois V: Summary Talk
This caused somewhat cynical approach to the theory among some of the polarimetry practitioners who preferred to be guided in their work by the following rules of thumb: Al l grains are always aligned and the alignment happens with the longer grain axes perpendicular to magnetic field.
Polarized Foreground Emission from Dust: Grain Alignment and MHD Turbulence
Computing determinants is invariably in demand from all sorts of mathematical domains and needs neither cynical advocacy nor does it lack motivation.
Play time with determinants
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