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A tendency to see or anticipate the worst.
[L. pessimus, worst, irreg. superl. of malus, bad]
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


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).
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners
References in periodicals archive ?
Optimism and pessimism as partially independent constructs: Relationship to positive and negative affectivity and psychological well-being.
By the 1870s the word 'pessimism', which for Coleridge and Sydney Smith had simply meant 'badness' or 'worstness', had become the antonym for optimism (first established as a philosophical term in French in the 1730s to describe Leibnitz's Theodicee of 1710), and the description of a distinctive intellectual position.
This change in perceived optimism may indicate that managerial intercession may be needed to modify the group flailing between optimism and pessimism. When this intercession occurs, members of a group are affected and these group members may make memory events regarding the perceived optimism of the manager.
Hayes said: "The Brexit haze, uncertainty over the political environment and the increased possibility of the UK entering recession appear to have dented expectations, which dipped into negative territory following positive readings in both June and July." He added: "A sharp decline in appetite for major purchases was also signalled, while pessimism towards job security also intensified during August, explaining why UK households have withdrawn into a more risk-averse approach and subsequently tapered their expectations for the coming year."
This pessimism, negativity and self interested need for the state to dictate is, however, beginning to wear thin amongst the electorate.
There is a growing movement of people prompting us to harness the power of pessimism. Pessimism is experiencing a strange revival in philosophy.
We also look forward to working out necessary details and modalities with the Indian side concerning the passage through the border.' Pakistan has downplayed the pessimism and negative propaganda campaign initiated by Indian Government and its media.
The survey results were largely influenced by the pessimism in the retail and wholesale trade sector which recorded a sharp decline in Business Confidence to positive 6 percent compared to positive 40 percent in the Wave 15.
In the 1980s, two University of Michigan researchers described a strategy they called"defensive pessimism," whereby people harness their anxiety for good.
Pakistan is passing through the most difficult and uncertain phase of its existence and as a result pessimism is ruling the roost in every sector of our demoralised society.
More than three decades ago, Norem and Cantor (1986) coined the term defensive pessimism to define students who, despite evidence of a clearly successful academic history, consistently manifested a deep negativism towards their future performance.
"We understand the pessimism that can be created in our fans after these last results.