Cynic

Definition of Cynic

Cyn´ic   Pronunciation: sĭn´ĭk
a.1.Having the qualities of a surly dog; snarling; captious; currish.
I hope it is no very cynical asperity not to confess obligations where no benefit has been received.
- Johnson.
2.Pertaining to the Dog Star; as, the cynic, or Sothic, year; cynic cycle.
3.Belonging to the sect of philosophers called cynics; having the qualities of a cynic; pertaining to, or resembling, the doctrines of the cynics.
4.Given to sneering at rectitude and the conduct of life by moral principles; believing the worst of human nature and motives; disbelieving in the reality of any human purposes which are not suggested or directed by self-interest or self-indulgence; having a sneering disbelief in the selflessness of others; as, a cynical man who scoffs at pretensions of integrity; characterized by such opinions; as, cynical views of human nature.
Cynic spasm
(Med.) a convulsive contraction of the muscles of one side of the face, producing a sort of grin, suggesting certain movements in the upper lip of a dog.
n.1.(Gr. Philos) One of a sect or school of philosophers founded by Antisthenes, and of whom Diogenes was a disciple. The first Cynics were noted for austere lives and their scorn for social customs and current philosophical opinions. Hence the term Cynic symbolized, in the popular judgment, moroseness, and contempt for the views of others.
2.One who holds views resembling those of the Cynics; a snarler; a misanthrope; particularly, a person who believes that human conduct is directed, either consciously or unconsciously, wholly by self-interest or self-indulgence, and that appearances to the contrary are superficial and untrustworthy.
He could obtain from one morose cynic, whose opinion it was impossible to despise, scarcely any not acidulated with scorn.
- Macaulay.

Related Words

Cassandra, Eeyore, Thersites, backbiter, belittler, calamity howler, calumniator, caustic critic, debunker, decrier, defamer, defeatist, deflater, depreciator, derogator, detractor, disparager, hatchet man, killjoy, knocker, libeler, malist, man-hater, misanthrope, misanthropist, misogynist, muckraker, mudslinger, negativist, nihilist, pessimist, prophet of doom, railer, retreatist, seek-sorrow, sexist, slanderer, social critic, traducer, woman-hater, worrywart
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