Definition of optimism in English:



mass noun
  • 1Hopefulness and confidence about the future or the success of something.

    ‘the talks had been amicable and there were grounds for optimism’
    • ‘I have genuine optimism for the future of Scotland as a must-visit destination.’
    • ‘But taking the long view, there is cause for considerable optimism about the future of relations.’
    • ‘During past scientific breakthroughs and innovations, human society was guided by a sense of optimism about the future.’
    • ‘It does not inspire optimism for the future of economic development in Scotland.’
    • ‘Princess Anne officially reopened Westbury Dairies offering words of hope and optimism for the future of the plant.’
    • ‘These two factors, Mr Speaker have motivated us to approach the future with great optimism.’
    • ‘By this standard at least, there are grounds for cautious optimism.’
    • ‘Worn down by the lack of sleep and the sickness, he lost all trace of optimism about his future.’
    • ‘With this level of projected coverage, both the McDermotts and Tullow can look to the future with optimism.’
    • ‘The report states that there is a lot of optimism about the success of these projects.’
    • ‘Sixty pupils from two schools have joined forces to create a CD about life as a Bradfordian and their optimism for the future.’
    • ‘I think in the '60s there was a certain amount of optimism about the future in technology.’
    • ‘I live in a world where I feel enormous optimism for the future.’
    • ‘I am filled with boundless enthusiasm, optimism, confidence, strength and love!’
    • ‘Publicly, Saudi oil executives express optimism about the future of their industry.’
    • ‘There appears to be a lot of increasing optimism about the future price of oil.’
    • ‘Eight years on and the band are now looking to the future with optimism, as Calum explains.’
    • ‘At first, like other returning veterans, Frankie faces the future with optimism.’
    • ‘For me, it's a powerful metaphor for optimism and the future.’
    • ‘Young officers like me could look forward to the future with confidence, hope and optimism.’
    hopefulness, hope, confidence, buoyancy, cheer, good cheer, cheerfulness, sanguineness, positiveness, positive attitude
    View synonyms
  • 2Philosophy
    The doctrine, especially as set forth by Leibniz, that this world is the best of all possible worlds.

    • ‘Candide, Voltaire's critique of optimism, is itself an ineliminably upbeat book.’
    • ‘His early optimism was soon overshadowed by a radical doctrine of grace.’
    1. 2.1 The belief that good must ultimately prevail over evil in the universe.
      • ‘Subsequent wars and revolutions have made Kant's optimism unfashionable.’
      • ‘Natural theology was above all a counsel of optimism, a belief in the essential goodness of the Creator.’
      • ‘I have great faith in optimism as a philosophy, if only because it offers us the opportunity of self-fulfilling prophecy.’


Mid 18th century: from French optimisme, from Latin optimum ‘best thing’ (see optimum).