cynic


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Related to cynic: skeptic

cyn·ic

 (sĭn′ĭk)
n.
1. A person who believes all people are motivated by selfishness.
2. A person whose outlook is scornfully and habitually negative.
3. Cynic 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.
adj.
1. Cynical.
2. Cynic Of or relating to the Cynics or their beliefs.

[Latin cynicus, Cynic philosopher, from Greek kunikos, from kuōn, kun-, dog; see kwon- in Indo-European roots.]
Word History: The Greek word kunikos, from which cynic comes, was originally an adjective meaning "doglike," from kuōn, "dog." The use of the word kunikos to designate the Cynic philosophers may make reference to the Kunosarges, an athletic training area where Antisthenes, a pupil of Socrates, is said to have taught the foundations of Cynic philosophy: that virtue, rather than pleasure, is the only good, and that virtue can be attained only through rigorous self-control. Alternatively, the designation kunikos may make reference to Antisthenes' most famous student, Diogenes of Sinope, whom the people of Athens nicknamed ho kuōn, "the dog." Diogenes himself seems to have accepted this nickname as an apt description of the life he tried to lead, stripped of all elements of civilization and social convention that he considered superfluous and detrimental to virtue. Diogenes lived without shame out of an old wine jar in the public spaces of Athens and went barefoot in the snow to inure himself to cold, all the while reproaching the citizens of Athens for their addiction to worthless pleasures and luxuries. Even Alexander the Great admired Diogenes' determination and powers of self-denial in the pursuit of virtue. Once, when Diogenes was sunning himself outside, Alexander came up and stood over him. "Ask me any favor you wish," Alexander said. "Stand out of the sun," Diogenes replied. According to another anecdote, diners made fun of Diogenes at a banquet by throwing bones at him like a dog, and he responded by urinating on them. Tales like these have undoubtedly influenced the development of the meaning of the word cynic in English. When Cynic first appeared in English in the 1500s, it referred to the Cynic philosophers, but cynic and cynical were soon applied to anyone who finds fault in others in a contemptuous or sneering way. Eventually, cynic came to mean "one who believes selfishness determines human behavior"—very far from an accurate description of the ancient Cynic philosophers practicing asceticism and poverty and occasionally trying to shock their fellow citizens into virtue.

cynic

(ˈsɪnɪk)
n
a person who believes the worst about people or the outcome of events
adj
1. a less common word for cynical
2. (Astronomy) astronomy of or relating to Sirius, the Dog Star
[C16: via Latin from Greek Kunikos, from kuōn dog]

Cynic

(ˈsɪnɪk)
n
(Philosophy) a member of a sect founded by Antisthenes that scorned worldly things and held that self-control was the key to the only good

cyn•ic

(ˈsɪn ɪk)

n.
1. a person who believes that only selfishness motivates human actions and who disbelieves in or minimizes selfless acts or disinterested points of view.
2. (cap.) one of a sect of Greek philosophers, 4th century B.C., who advocated the doctrines that virtue is the only good, that the essence of virtue is self-control, and that surrender to any external influence is beneath human dignity.
3. a person with a bitterly or sneeringly cynical attitude.
adj.
4. cynical.
5. (cap.) of or pertaining to the Cynics or their doctrines.
[1540–50; < Latin Cynicus < Greek Kynikós Cynic, literally, doglike =kyn-, s. of kýōn dog]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.cynic - someone who is critical of the motives of others
disagreeable person, unpleasant person - a person who is not pleasant or agreeable
depreciator, detractor, disparager, knocker - one who disparages or belittles the worth of something
2.Cynic - a member of a group of ancient Greek philosophers who advocated the doctrine that virtue is the only good and that the essence of virtue is self-control
philosopher - a specialist in philosophy

cynic

noun sceptic, doubter, pessimist, misanthrope, misanthropist, scoffer A cynic might see this as simply a ploy to make us part with more money.
Quotations
"A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing" [Oscar Wilde Lady Windermere's Fan]
"The cynic is one who never sees a good quality in a man, and never fails to see a bad one" [H.W. Beecher Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit]
"cynic: a blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be" [Ambrose Bierce The Devil's Dictionary]

cynic

noun
A person who expects only the worst from people:
adjective
Marked by or displaying contemptuous mockery of the motives or virtues of others:
Translations
كلبي ، ساخِر، متهكّـم
cynik
kyniker
kyynikko
cinik
cynik
cyniker
kötümser kimseolumsuz

cynic

[ˈsɪnɪk] Ncínico/a m/f

cynic

[ˈsɪnɪk] ncynique mf

cynic

n
Zyniker(in) m(f); don’t be such a cynicsei nicht so zynisch
Cynic (Philos) → Kyniker m, → Zyniker m

cynic

[ˈsɪnɪk] ncinico/a

cynical

(ˈsinikəl) adjective
inclined to believe the worst, especially about people. a cynical attitude.
ˈcynically adverb
ˈcynic noun
a person who believes the worst about everyone. He is a cynic – he thinks no-one is really unselfish.
ˈcynicism (-sizəm) noun

cynic

a. cínico-a.
References in classic literature ?
Possibly some cynic, at once merry and bitter, had desired to signify, in this pantomimic scene, that we mortals, whatever our business or amusement,--however serious, however trifling, --all dance to one identical tune, and, in spite of our ridiculous activity, bring nothing finally to pass.
The old cynic chose to be vastly offended at this nicety; assuring me, repeatedly, that 'the barn was every bit as good' as I, 'and every bit as wollsome,' and wondering how I could fashion to be so conceited.
One of these days you'll wish you hadn't laid that wager," said the cynic philosopher.
And thus it had come about that Orlando had gone off for his month's holiday with a charming girl, who, with the cynic, will no doubt account for his stern adherence to duty; and Rosalind had gone off for hers with a pretty young man whom she'd liked well enough to go to the theatre and to supper with,--a young man who was indeed a dear friend, and a vivacious, sympathetic companion, but whom, as a substitute for Orlando, she immediately began to hate.
As to the other sciences, inasmuch as these borrow their principles from philosophy, I judged that no solid superstructures could be reared on foundations so infirm; and neither the honor nor the gain held out by them was sufficient to determine me to their cultivation: for I was not, thank Heaven, in a condition which compelled me to make merchandise of science for the bettering of my fortune; and though I might not profess to scorn glory as a cynic, I yet made very slight account of that honor which I hoped to acquire only through fictitious titles.
who, to tell you the truth, seems to me rather questionable; there are plenty of better men in Alencon than that cynic du Bousquier.
It is a noble thought," said the Cynic, with an obsequious sneer.
It is a noble thought,' said the Cynic, with an obsequious sneer.
As I brought the boat under the falls my captain, in high good- humour, leaned over, spreading his red and freckled elbows on the rail, and called down to me sarcastically, out of the depths of his cynic philosopher's beard:
Then Newman reflected that these are mighty mysteries, that possibly he himself was indeed that baleful and barely mentionable thing, a cynic, and that his manner of considering the treasures of art and the privileges of life was probably very base and immoral.
He went as the deputy of some missionary society to preach in the neighbourhood of Trantridge, a place forty miles from here, and made it his business to expostulate with a lax young cynic he met with somewhere about there--son of some landowner up that way--and who has a mother afflicted with blindness.
All the hate and scorn and love of a deep nature such as the shy man is ever cursed by fester and corrupt within, instead of spending themselves abroad, and sour him into a misanthrope and cynic.