Share this entry

Pollyanna Line breaks: Polly|anna
Pronunciation: /pɒlɪˈanə/

Definition of Pollyanna in English:


An excessively cheerful or optimistic person: what I am saying makes me sound like some ageing Pollyanna who just wants to pretend that all is sweetness and light
More example sentences
  • The rallying dollar, sinking crude, and surging financial stocks do today create a rather inspiring backdrop for the optimists and Pollyannas.
  • Does this mean that we all should be brainless Pollyannas, cheerfully accepting whatever comes down the line?
  • Those whose cup is half full are the world's optimists, the Pollyannas and the kind of people to be avoided at all costs, particularly at parties.


Early 20th century: the name of the optimistic heroine created by Eleanor Hodgman Porter (1868–1920), American author of children's stories.



Example sentences
  • As you can see from my summation, this is an optimistic work, but thanks to focused direction by Bridget Ryan and a measured, intelligent, and believable script, this production manages to be upbeat without being Pollyannaish or maudlin.
  • Does this mean that active learning is, as Mattson characterizes it, an idealistic sham perpetuated by Pollyannaish administrators and workshop facilitators?
  • It may seem Pollyannaish to find anything positive about the current political landscape, but this could be seen as a moment of opportunity for progressives.


Example sentences
  • And I know my pollyannaism is rampant but, I think life is almost this perfect.
  • In short, people who display a tendency to Pollyannaism believe their own hype.

Words that rhyme with Pollyanna

Alana, Anna, bandanna, banner, Branagh, canna, canner, Diana, fanner, Fermanagh, Guyana, Hannah, Havana, hosanna, Indiana, Joanna, lanner, Louisiana, manna, manner, manor, Montana, nana, planner, Rosanna, savannah, scanner, spanner, Susanna, tanner

Definition of Pollyanna in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day confidant
Pronunciation: ˈkɒnfɪdant
a person with whom one shares a secret...