Definition of Cynic

1. Noun. Someone who is critical of the motives of others.

Exact synonyms: Faultfinder
Generic synonyms: Disagreeable Person, Unpleasant Person
Specialized synonyms: Depreciator, Detractor, Disparager, Knocker
Derivative terms: Cynical, Find Fault

2. Noun. 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.
Generic synonyms: Philosopher

Definition of Cynic

1. a. Having the qualities of a surly dog; snarling; captious; currish.

2. n. One of a sect or school of philosophers founded by Antisthenes, and of whom Diogenes was a disciple. The first Cynics were noted for austere lives and their scorn for social customs and current philosophical opinions. Hence the term Cynic symbolized, in the popular judgment, moroseness, and contempt for the views of others.

Definition of Cynic

1. Proper noun. 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. ¹

2. Adjective. Of or relating to the Cynics. ¹

3. Adjective. Churlish or satirical. ¹

4. Noun. A person who believes that all people are motivated by selfishness. ¹

5. Noun. A person whose outlook is scornfully negative. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Cynic

1. a cynical person [n -S]

Medical Definition of Cynic

1. Doglike, denoting a spasm of the muscles of the face as in risus caninus. Origin: G. Kynikos, doglike (05 Mar 2000)

Cynic Pictures

Click the following link to bring up a new window with an automated collection of images related to the term: Cynic Images

Lexicographical Neighbors of Cynic

cymæ inversæ
cymæ rectæ
cymæ reversæ
cynic (current term)
cynic spasm
cynipid gall wasp
cynipid wasp

Literary usage of Cynic

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. La démocratie libérale by Thomas Hodgkin, Etienne Vacherot (1892)
"BOOK i. consecration of Maximus the cynic as Orthodox Bishop i— of Constantinople was an event which filled Gregory's the cynic. ..."

2. Italy and Her Invaders by Thomas Hodgkin (1892)
"BOOK i. consecration of Maximus the cynic as Orthodox Bishop — of Constantinople was an event which filled Gregory's soul with bitterness and to which he ..."

3. An Etymological Dictionary of the English Language by Walter William Skeat (1893)
"Der. cynic-al, cynic-al-ly, cynic-ism ; and see cyno-ure. also spelt ... See cynic. CYPRESS (i), a kind of tree. (F.,-L.,-Gk.) ME ci'res, ..."

4. History of Ancient Philosophy by Wilhelm Windelband (1899)
"In these, the cynic and Cyrenaic, the opposition as to both moral and social conceptions ... The cynic school was called into life by Antisthenes of Athens, ..."

5. Poems by Walter Malone (1904)
"THE cynic. IN festal halls the flaring lights hang round. And artificial beauty flaunts beneath; ... And here the cynic treads to scoff and jeer At beauty, ..."

6. The Library of Original Sources: Ideas that Have Influenced Civilization, in edited by Oliver Joseph Thatcher (1915)
"... DIOGENES THE cynic DIOGENES THE cynic was born about 412 BC at Sinope in Asia Minor. He typifies the theory that the chief good is freedom from wants. ..."

7. General History of the Christian Religion and Church by August Neander, Joseph Torrey (1851)
"work where, in his own peculiar style, he has described the life and self-procured death of the cynic philosopher, Peregrinus Proteus. ..."

8. Outlines of the History of Greek Philosophy by Eduard Zeller (1905)
"The cynic School. Antisthenes of Athens, the founder of the cynic school, had enjoyed the instruction of Gorgias, ..."

Other Resources Relating to: Cynic

Search for Cynic on!Search for Cynic on!Search for Cynic on Google!Search for Cynic on Wikipedia!