Definition of misanthropy in US English:



  • A dislike of humankind.

    ‘the streak of misanthropy in his nature’
    • ‘But the misogyny gives way later in the series to a more general misanthropy.’
    • ‘I laugh sardonically at the news broadcasts for their dreadful misanthropy.’
    • ‘It's a work fuelled by revulsion, by misanthropy in general, not specifically by homophobia.’
    • ‘The misanthropy that many of them nonetheless express, verges on the criminal.’
    • ‘Along with ‘cynicism and misanthropy,’ he detects Catholic guilt and ‘deep-seated problems with women.’’
    • ‘Reading Cat's Eye in my early twenties was a kind of auto-psychoanalysis, a way out of the legacy of misanthropy, suppressed rage and cosmic sense of inadequacy that had been the legacy of my teenage years.’
    • ‘His vision of America and of life was tough, irreverent, astringent almost to the point of misanthropy.’
    • ‘They almost teach us a response to status anxiety that you could almost call intelligent misanthropy.’
    • ‘Even in the depths of my misanthropy, I must admit to being upset by the situations that some people actually have to survive in.’
    • ‘Some find their natural optimism about human nature corrected by the doctrine of the Fall; some find their natural misanthropy corrected by the commandments to love our neighbor and our enemy.’
    • ‘What would that cynic who used to delight us on TV in the eighties with his elegant misanthropy have made of it all?’
    • ‘But there are only so many times you can hear people say ‘Ooh, lovely’ right next to your ear before the words lose what little meaning they have and you're bubbling with misanthropy.’
    • ‘He carries in him the salutary misanthropy of a man who has occasionally found himself unpleasant company - an intuition that can act as a restraint and that has nothing in common with the swagger of assured innocence.’
    • ‘A prominent streak of misanthropy and shyness in his nature resulted in his concert career being sporadic.’
    • ‘In film after film, Kubrick's misanthropy - the magisterial technique that reduced the actors in his films to stick figures carrying out his bidding - represented the triumph of the mechanical over the human.’
    • ‘Indeed, a lot of the performances from the early 1990s give a misleading image of an arrogant American with a hefty streak of misanthropy.’
    • ‘I can also detect in my writing my essential misanthropy rearing its ugly head.’
    • ‘By Bukowski's own admission, he was always the hero of his stories, which are shot through with black humour, misogyny, misanthropy, narcissism, wishful thinking, and inconsolable loneliness.’
    • ‘There was not a single indication of self-criticism, not a word to explain how things could get to a stage where young persons aged 16 know just hatred and misanthropy.’
    • ‘It dooms me to a life of skepticism, indecision, disgust, and often misanthropy.’
    hatred of mankind, antisocial behaviour, cynicism, scepticism, reclusiveness
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Mid 17th century: from Greek misanthrōpia, from miso- ‘hating’ + anthrōpos ‘man’.