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Cynical is a word that has its roots in Ancient Greece. We will examine the definition of cynical, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

Cynical is an adjective that describes someone who does not believe in the goodness of people, someone who believes that people are only motivated by selfish reasons. A cynical person has no hope that people will do the right thing or that situations will come to a good ending. Related words are cynically, cynic, cynicism. The word cynical is derived from the word cynic, which comes from the Greek word kynikos, meaning a follower of Antisthenes. Antisthenes was a pupil of Socrates, and promoted Cynicism, a school of philosophy that shunned wealth and power and looked for fulfillment in the natural world. Over time, cynic came to mean a sarcastic person.


Catholic priest David Palmer, from Nottingham, told The Sun: “If firms want to sell chocolate eggs all year, fine, but they’re marketing them at Easter so not to mention Easter is cynical.” (The Mirror)

The abuse, which prosecutor Oliver Saxby QC called ‘routine, cynical and predatory sexual exploitation,’ all took place between 1998 and 2005. (The Oxford Mail)

TASHKENT: India victim of relentless cross-border terror on Tuesday asserted that Afghanistan is a “victim of ideological extremism and brutal terrorism, often sponsored from beyond their borders, for reasons that they do not always understand, by elements trapped in regressive doctrine and cynical interests”.  (The Economic Times)

For a vista of how deeply cynical America has become in this age of division and manipulation, this moment when you don’t know whether the news is real or fake, whether your boss is under investigation, whether the outrage in your Facebook feed is human or was stuck there by Cambridge Analytica, consider this moment at the Goodman Theatre on Monday night. (The Chicago Tribune)