(redirected from pessimists)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal.
Related to pessimists: pessimism, Philosophical pessimism


philosophical opinion or doctrine that evil predominates over good; the opposite of optimism. Systematic forms of pessimism may be found in philosophy and religion. In religion Buddhism and Hinduism pessimistically appraise the world, while Christianity's pessimism is more restricted. Numerous philosophers have been pessimistic, notably Arthur SchopenhauerSchopenhauer, Arthur
, 1788–1860, German philosopher, b. Danzig (now Gdansk). The bias of his own temperament and experience was germinal to the development of his celebrated philosophy of pessimism, which he presented with such clarity and skill as to gain eventual
..... Click the link for more information.
 in the 19th cent. and Martin HeideggerHeidegger, Martin
, 1889–1976, German philosopher. As a student at Freiburg, Heidegger was influenced by the neo-Kantianism of Heinrich Rickert and the phenomenology of Edmund Husserl.
..... Click the link for more information.
 in the 20th cent.


See also Cynicism, Skepticism.
Calamity Jane (Martha Jane Canary
or Martha Burke, 1852–1903) frontierswoman; mannish prophetess of doom. [Am. Hist.: Flexner, 71]
no credence ever given to her truthful prophecies of doom. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 51]
City of Dreadful Night, The
expresses a passionate faith in pessimism as the only sensible philosophy. [Br. Poetry: James Thomson The City of Dreadful Night in Benét, 202]
old man who deplores aging, aridity, and spiritual decay and despairs of civilization. [Br. Poetry: Benét, 391]
Gloomy Gus
one with a pessimistic outlook on the world. [Am. Usage: Misc.]
(535–475 B.C.) “Weeping Philosopher”; grieved over man’s folly. [Gk. Hist.: Brewer Dictionary, 1146]
always prophesied misfortune for King Ahab. [O.T.: I Kings 22:8]
Murphy’s Law “If
anything can go wrong, it will.” [Am. Culture: Wallechinsky, 480]
Schopenhauer, Arthur
(1788–1860) German philosopher known for philosophy of pessimism. [Ger. Hist.: NCE, 2447]


Philosophy, Religion
1. the doctrine of the ultimate triumph of evil over good
2. the doctrine that this world is corrupt and that man's sojourn in it is a preparation for some other existence
References in periodicals archive ?
Seligman adds to the above model that helps pessimists to change the way they view the situation.
The pessimist will live his life in a perpetual fog of gloom and shy away from such possible excitements as space travel, cosmetic surgery or voting Labour.
She also notes that pessimists tended to have a higher stress baseline than optimists, but also had trouble regulating their system when they go through particularly stressful situations.
The second group of pessimists say there is no prospect of reforming the EU, you simply have to leave.
Kipp was unwilling to disengage from this particular blog in favour of writing about a baby monkey riding a pig (the suggestion of a colleague), so we guess we're stuck as pessimists.
But while optimists assimilate the idea of linear time to the idea of progress, taking for granted the possibility of improvement in the human condition over time, pessimists reject, or at least find no evidence for, such a belief.
A score of 100 and above means there are more optimists than pessimists on both the overall index and the specific survey issues.
The inevitable conclusion the pessimists reach is that there will be an "oil shock" like no other, jolting the world into economic chaos, or worse.
Whatever the pessimists say, BBC Gardeners' World Live shows that the NEC's future is rosy.
For pessimists, the heavens offer a host of doomsday scenarios--an asteroid crashing into Earth or deadly cosmic rays raining down on the planet.
Whether they're optimists or pessimists, Clippers players can hardly avoid thinking about this summer, next fall, and next spring after winning 47 games this season to set a new high for the franchise's post-Buffalo period.
I am a firm believer that peak oil is now upon us and that it is too late to mitigate many of the effects that the so-called pessimists (Colin Campbell, Richard Heinberg, James Howard Kunstler and others) predict.