Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English


English definition of “pessimism”


noun [U]    /ˈpes·əˌmɪz·əm/
the tendency to see the bad side of things or to expect the worst in any situation: There has been a mood of growing pessimism about the nation’s economy. pessimist    /ˈpes·ə·mɪst/ noun [C] How come you’re such a pessimist?
(Definition of pessimism noun from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of pessimism

Definitions of “pessimism” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


something that you do to prepare yourself for an activity, especially gentle exercises before a physical activity

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More