Adjective "cynical" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


Believing that people are motivated purely by self-interest; distrustful of human sincerity or integrity.
  1. 'One cynical commentator dismissed his promises on health and education as ‘not worth the paper they are printed on’.'
  2. 'I confess to a somewhat more cynical view of human nature than Mr. Wilkinson.'
  3. 'Outwardly tough, aloof and cynical, she does a good deal of nail-chewing and fiddling with a cigarette as she decides whether Jack can be trusted.'
  4. 'It's kind of sad that people are so skeptical and cynical of human decency and if they aren't, that they, at the least, don't believe in the ideal of it.'
  5. 'Glass concedes it is harder not to become more cynical about the game as he gets older.'
  6. 'I read the rest of this report, looking at why we're increasingly cynical about elections and governments.'
  7. 'If I was cynical I would believe that he was trying to frighten us into compliance with his own authoritarian, dictatorial agenda.'
  8. 'His limited opportunities add to his bitter, cynical attitude towards life.'
  9. 'Is it cynical to believe that it was a political gesture and that the minister wanted the credit for driving down the oil price?'
  10. 'Such cynical micro-analysts of human behaviour must suffer when the ravenous critic inevitably turns inward.'
  11. 'most residents are cynical about efforts to clean mobsters out of their city'
  12. 'Mittal is equally cynical about a corporate biotech revolution.'
  13. 'I wasn't as cynical about being able to influence political decisions as I am now.'
  14. 'But it wasn't ever really about meeting people; I've always been pretty cynical about the prospects of that.'
  15. 'He's cynical about whether the new inquiry will get closer to the truth or whether it is mere window-dressing.'
  16. 'For all his talk about the power of positivity, I confess I'm cynical about whether things will get better in our lifetime.'
  17. 'He laughed, a cynical heartless sort of laugh and then squinted at me.'
  18. 'Cursing under his breath he aimed and missed, prompting a cynical laugh from Simon.'
  19. 'The event is not coldly cynical or sneering, but humorous and engaging.'
  20. 'His hands clenched tightly, yet a soft cynical laugh escaped from his lips.'
  21. 'Even Sarah, usually caustic and cynical, had to admit that Josh really did look happy.'
  22. 'The surprising thing is that a declaration of this kind from Singleton is no longer dismissed with a cynical laugh.'
  23. 'He's trying to do away with the cynical sneer and make a genuine film with heartfelt emotion.'
  24. 'He started laughing and mocked the old man with cynical derision.'
  25. 'Seamus was already out of the car and, once free of it, resumed his cynical sneer.'
  26. 'It's perhaps no surprise that the project has already attracted its share of cynical derision.'
Concerned only with one's own interests and typically disregarding accepted standards in order to achieve them.
  1. 'This light-minded and cynical attitude of the ruling elite towards its own legal norms is an international phenomenon.'
  2. 'This sudden ‘concern’ is entirely cynical and has nothing to do with defending democratic rights.'
  3. 'The accomplice to cynical, self-interested Western governments here are TV networks, who crave conflict to boost ratings.'
  4. 'The government's decision is a cynical manipulation of policy purely for election purposes.'
  5. 'There are some who have tried to buy their peace with rather cynical deals.'
  6. 'This exercise tells us nothing about their ability to improve the lot of the subsistence farmer and everything about their lack of corporate integrity and cynical opportunism.'
  7. 'He had reason to believe his cynical tactics would work.'
  8. 'The newspaper's sudden interest in the anti-war movement is cynical and self-serving.'
  9. 'Was the magazine acting in the general interest or merely indulging in a cynical attempt to increase its circulation?'
  10. 'The thoughtless and cynical attitude displayed by the ruling elite regarding its own legal norms is an international phenomenon.'


1. distrusting or disparaging the motives of others; like or characteristic of a cynic.

2. showing contempt for accepted standards of honesty or morality by one's actions, especially by actions that exploit the scruples of others.

3. bitterly or sneeringly distrustful, contemptuous, or pessimistic.

4. (initial capital letter) cynic (def 5).

More examples(as adjective)

"people can be cynical about people."

"promises can be cynical with respects."

"people can be cynical about marketings."

"economists can be cynical of deficits."

"economists can be cynical about releases."

More examples++