Cynicism, or the attitude of being cynical, appears as an inclination to be skeptical of others' intentions and to believe that other people are completely motivated by self-interest.

This term originated from an ancient Greek philosophical school known as the Cynics who believed that virtue and living simply in accordance with nature were of supreme importance while shirking materialism, status, and wealth. Now if someone is described as cynical they are typically also described as jaded or suspicious of the motivations of others, believing them to be disingenuous or greedy.

For example, in our modern world many people are cynical about politics because they don't trust or believe in politicians and feel as if they are only participating for their own self-interests.

Add flashcard Cite Random