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A tendency to see or anticipate the worst.
[L. pessimus, worst, irreg. superl. of malus, bad]


Etymology: L, pessimus, worst
the inclination to anticipate the worst possible results from any action or situation or to emphasize unfavorable conditions, even when progress or gain might reasonably be expected. pessimist, n.


A frame of mind marked by loss of hope, confidence, or trust in a good outcome, even when such an outcome is likely. See: optimism

therapeutic pessimism

Nihilism (1).
References in periodicals archive ?
Optimism and pessimism have traditionally been considered as psychological traits that characterize people, and they are defined on the basis of the person's beliefs that positive or negative events will occur (for example, Scheier & Carver, 1985).
Among the disagreements regarding optimism and pessimism is that some theorists and researchers conceptualize the two constructs as dispositional while others argue that they are situational or contextual.
Nietzsche, though Dienstag considers him an existential pessimist, gets a separate chapter of his own because his particular brand of 'Dionysian pessimism' is 'maximally valuable and persuasive' (162) in emphasizing that pessimism need not lead to resignation, but instead can inspire 'spirited activity' (166) and a defiant embrace of life--a position that Cervantes' Don Quixote models for us, as Dienstag argues in Chapter 6.
Are optimism and pessimism representative of two opposite ends of the same continuum?
The nineteenth-century writers like Dostoyvsky, Ibsen and Strindberg do not participate in any pessimism as such, although they all exhibit man's zest for life amidst the fire of suffering that explains the very nature of life; and this is the very seriousness of human action that, Aristotle observes, tragedy represents.
Plainly it can be seen that Hamlet's speech derives from someone who has read both sides of the debate, abstracted quintessential elements from each, and starkly juxtaposed one against the other in an alternating litany of pessimism.
Based on neither optimism nor pessimism, but rather on enlightened realism, American policymakers and businessmen should stick to a steady course of engagement with China.
In the Harvard sample, pessimism at age 25 predicted more severe types of physical illness (a full range of disabling and nondisabling disorders was tracked) between the ageds of 45 and 60.
Incredibly, Bulgarian pessimism outperformed that of Iraqis and Afghans.
Global Banking News-1 May 2008-BoE warns about pessimism in banks(C)2008 ENPublishing - http://www.
Ever the optimist, Cowen smartly suggests that even pessimists further cultural process: "A consistent optimistic attitude should place cultural pessimism within a cornucopia of modern achievement.