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Meaning of cynic

cyn•ic

Pronunciation: (sin'ik), [key]
— n.
  1. a person who believes that only selfishness motivates human actions and who disbelieves in or minimizes selfless acts or disinterested points of view.
  2. (cap.) one of a sect of Greek philosophers, 4th century b.c., who advocated the doctrines that virtue is the only good, that the essence of virtue is self-control, and that surrender to any external influence is beneath human dignity.
  3. a person who shows or expresses a bitterly or sneeringly cynical attitude.
—adj.
  1. cynical.
  2. (cap.) of or pertaining to the Cynics or their doctrines.
  3. resembling the actions of a snarling dog.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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