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Definition of "cynic" []

  • A person who believes all people are motivated by selfishness. (noun)
  • A person whose outlook is scornfully and often habitually negative. (noun)
  • A member of a sect of ancient Greek philosophers who believed virtue to be the only good and self-control to be the only means of achieving virtue. (noun)
  • Cynical. (adjective)
  • Of or relating to the Cynics or their beliefs. (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "cynic" in a sentence
  • "He and his scruffy band of followers held that life should be conducted in accordance with nature to the point of performing bodily functions in public like dogs hence the term cynic, from the Greek word for dog."
  • "The root of the word "cynic" is the same as the Greek word for "dog," and some scholars say the Cynics got their name because they barked at society."
  • "A cynic is someone who refuses to trust and believe;"