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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 ?
Personalisation: Optimists blame bad events on external factors, whereas pessimists tend to put the blame on themselves.
Yet I increasingly think that there is indeed a fundamental two-way division in humanity, between the optimists and the pessimists.
Dienstag gives us some hints as to what he has in mind--for example, he remarks that pessimists would resist global ambitions to 'remake the world in [their] image', realizing that 'the world will hold no image at all for very long' (198)--but some more substantial treatment of such issues would be helpful, especially since Dienstag also notes that nothing should deter the pessimist from entering 'local projects' or organizing 'small portions of the world' (198).
The pessimist will magnify an office rumor into a portent of doom.
Pessimists also believe the cause of their problem is global--it will ruin every aspect of their lives.
The message is pretty clear: If you're a natural pessimist you should try to do what you can to change your life for the better by trying to overcome your gloomy thoughts.
The arguments against the simplistic view that Erasmus turned into a pessimist after 1520 (118-28 and chap.
No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit.
Doctors put the optimist in a room of manure and the pessimist in a room of toys.
COUNTRYSIDE: My husband is an eternal pessimist, and after reading your predictions of possible disasters, my requests for a larger rabbit herd and more garden space and basement canning shelves are falling on more favorable ears.
The present study investigated the differences in value orientations of optimist and pessimist personality dispositions.
Based on presentations at the June 13th National Legislative Forum of the American Health Care Association (ACHA), your answer depends on whether you're a pessimist or an optimist.