Definition of optimism in English:


Line breaks: op¦ti|mism
Pronunciation: /ˈɒptɪmɪz(ə)m


[mass noun]
  • 2 Philosophy The doctrine, especially as set forth by Leibniz, that this world is the best of all possible worlds.
    More 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.
    More 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.



More 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?


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

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