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optimism

Syllabification: op·ti·mism
Pronunciation: /ˈäptəˌmizəm
 
/

Definition of optimism in English:

noun

1Hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something: the talks had been amicable, and there were grounds for optimism
More example sentences
  • I think in the '60s there was a certain amount of optimism about the future in technology.
  • Young officers like me could look forward to the future with confidence, hope and optimism.
  • Princess Anne officially reopened Westbury Dairies offering words of hope and optimism for the future of the plant.
Synonyms
hopefulness, hope, confidence, buoyancy, cheer, cheerfulness, good cheer, sanguineness, positiveness, positive attitude
2 Philosophy The doctrine, especially as set forth by Leibniz, that this world is the best of all possible worlds.
Example sentences
  • His early optimism was soon overshadowed by a radical doctrine of grace.
  • Candide, Voltaire's critique of optimism, is itself an ineliminably upbeat book.
2.1The belief that good must ultimately prevail over evil in the universe.
Example sentences
  • Natural theology was above all a counsel of optimism, a belief in the essential goodness of the Creator.
  • I have great faith in optimism as a philosophy, if only because it offers us the opportunity of self-fulfilling prophecy.
  • Subsequent wars and revolutions have made Kant's optimism unfashionable.

Origin

mid 18th century: from French optimisme, from Latin optimum 'best thing' (see optimum).

More
  • Philosophers in the 18th century coined optimism for the theory that this is the best of all possible worlds. The word goes back to Latin optimum ‘best thing’. By the early 19th century it had gained wider currency, and was being used to mean a general tendency to hope for the best. The opposite, pessimism (from Latin pessimus ‘worst’), was also coined in the 18th century, when it meant ‘the worst possible state or condition’.

Derivatives

optimist

1
noun
Example sentences
  • Demand may already have overtaken production, and even extreme optimists predict that production will peak before 2015.
  • Call them the grand optimists of American small business, if you like.
  • Where did the optimists think the traffic would go?

Definition of optimism in:

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