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Top 10 quotes about cynicism

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I am skeptical in principle, gullible in practice.

Mason Cooley

I refused to attend his funeral. But I wrote a very nice letter explaining that I approved of it.

Mark Twain

The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.

George Bernard Shaw

A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.

H. L. Mencken

Sarcasm: the last refuge of modest and chaste-souled people when the privacy of their soul is coarsely and intrusively invaded.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Cynicism is humor in ill health.

H. G. [Herbert George] Wells

Cynicism is the intellectual cripple's substitute for intelligence.

Russell Lynes

A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.


Satire is focused bitterness.

Leo Rosten

Nothing is more discouraging than unappreciated sarcasm.


CYNIC: One who not only reads bitter lessons from the past, but who is prematurely disappointed with the future.


Out of the unconscious lips of babes and sucklings are we satirized.

Mark Twain

Satirists gain the applause of others through fear, not through love.

William Hazlitt

It is difficult not to write satire.


It's a good time to be making movies, despite the cynicism people have about Hollywood.

Rob Morrow

A cynic is a man who looks at the world with a monocle in his mind's eye.

Carolyn Wells

A cynic is a blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, and not as they ought to be.

Ambrose Bierce

My comedy does not come from a place of deep cynicism, and I tend to play characters who are naive in some way.

Anna Faris

People have moved beyond apathy, beyond skepticism into deep cynicism.

Elliot Richardson

Cynicism is intellectual dandyism.

George Meredith

Fools are my theme, let satire be my song.

Lord Byron

A cynic can chill and dishearten with a single word.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

It takes a clever man to turn cynic and a wise man to be clever enough not to.

Fannie Hurst

I worry that no matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up.

Jane Wagner

A cynic is just a man who found out when he was ten that there wasn't any Santa Claus, and he's still upset.

James G. Cozzens

Don't be a cynic and disconsolate preacher. Don't bewail and moan. Omit the negative propositions. Challenge us with incessant affirmatives. Don't waste yourself in rejection, or bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Cynicism is cheap -- you can buy it at any Monoprix store -- it's built into all poor-quality goods.

Graham Greene

A cynic is not merely one who reads bitter lessons from the past; he is one who is prematurely disappointed in the future.

Sydney J. Harris

It is said that truth comes from the mouths of fools and children: I wish every good mind which feels an inclination for satire would reflect that the finest satirist always has something of both in him.

G. C. (Georg Christoph) Lichtenberg

The cynics are right nine times out of ten.

H. L. Mencken

The cynic, a parasite of civilization, lives by denying it, for the very reason that he is convinced that it will not fail.


The only deadly sin I know is cynicism.

Henry Lewis Stimson

Cynicism is the humor of hatred.

Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree

The satirist who writes nothing but satire should write but little -- or it will seem that his satire springs rather from his own caustic nature than from the sins of the world in which he lives.

Anthony Trollope

All I have to be thankful for in this world is that I was sitting down when my garter busted.

Dorothy Parker

Show me somebody who is always smiling, always cheerful, always optimistic, and I will show you somebody who hasn't the faintest idea what the heck is really going on.

Mike Royko

I understand the concept of optimism. But I think with me what you get is a lack of cynicism.

Tom Hanks

There is an institutional cynicism that causes reporters to question everything the President says, and the motives of everything the President and his Administration try to accomplish.

Dee Dee Myers

If only media people would stop reaching for the low-hanging fruit, which is cynicism and pessimism, and stopped trying so hard to be hip and cool and have a swagger.

Emilio Estevez

My level of cynicism about the reasons that took us to war against Iraq remain just as well-developed as they were before I went.

Ted Koppel

We can destroy ourselves by cynicism and disillusion, just as effectively as by bombs.

Kenneth Clark

Cynicism is intellectual treason.

Norman Cousins

Blows are sarcasm's turned stupid.

George Eliot

Life is not an easy matter... You cannot live through it without falling into frustration and cynicism unless you have before you a great idea which raises you above personal misery, above weakness, above all kinds of perfidy and baseness.

Leon Trotsky

Most cynics are really crushed romantics: they've been hurt, they're sensitive, and their cynicism is a shell that's protecting this tiny, dear part in them that's still alive.

Jeff Bridges

I don't think I have one iota of cynicism about acting.

Donald Sutherland

Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth.

Lillian Hellman

Laughing at someone else is an excellent way of learning how to laugh at oneself; and questioning what seem to be the absurd beliefs of another group is a good way of recognizing the potential absurdity of many of one's own cherished beliefs.

Gore Vidal

Every ounce of my cynicism is supported by historical precedent.

Glen Cook

Stoicism is the wisdom of madness and cynicism the madness of wisdom.

Bergen Evans

If you're sick and tired of the politics of cynicism and polls and principles, come and join this campaign.

George W. Bush

Don't give in to cynicism. It is a toxic spiritual state.

Cory Booker

I think we too often make choices based on the safety of cynicism, and what we're lead to is a life not fully lived. Cynicism is fear, and it's worse than fear - it's active disengagement.

Ken Burns

As my father always used to tell me, 'You see, son, there's always someone in the world worse off than you.' And I always used to think, 'So?

Bill Bryson

I am most proud of my integrity and least proud of my cynicism.

Chloe Sevigny

I read some of my stories recently and thought, 'How in the hell did I get away with that?' I had some really raw cynicism in some of them.

Carl Barks

I'm not ready to let the youthful part of myself go yet. If maturity means becoming a cynic, if you have to kill the part of yourself that is naive and romantic and idealistic - the part of you that you treasure most - to claim maturity, is it not better to die young but with your humanity intact?

Kenneth Cain

If there was anything that depressed him more than his own cynicism, it was that quite often it still wasn't as cynical as real life.

Terry Pratchett

By the time you swear you're his, Shivering and sighing. And he vows his passion is, Infinite, undying. Lady make note of this -- One of you is lying.

Dorothy Parker

This isn't really a convention, This is really an infomercial. And every night we'll have a different infomercial and people view it with a certain level of cynicism.

Susan Estrich

Another cause for the increase in alienation and cynicism is a feeling that too many policy decisions that affect individuals have been taken out of any system that has accountability or that they can influence.

Robert Teeter

I don't think you lead by pessimism and cynicism. I think you lead by optimism and enthusiasm and energy.

Patricia Ireland

Cynicism is tough. A cynic's point of view is really pitiful. I derive pleasure out of a lot of things in life. As long as I'm fairly healthy, it's hard to stay dismal for very long.

Shawn Colvin

Optimism with some experience behind it is much more energizing than plain old experience with a certain degree of cynicism.

Twyla Tharp

I don't think you can ever be ahead of your time with cynicism about that subject. No, I don't think it was ahead of its time. I think it was very much a product of its time.

Joe Dante

Nevertheless, I resist cynicism and continue to believe in the possibilities for genuine democracy.

William Greider

What arouses the indignation of the honest satirist is not, unless the man is a prig, the fact that people in positions of power or influence behave idiotically, or even that they behave wickedly. It is that they conspire successfully to impose upon the public a picture of themselves as so very sagacious, honest and well-intentioned.

Claud Cockburn

Reforming public education, cutting property taxes, fixing adult and child protective services and funding our budget can all occur when Democrats and Republicans engage in consensus and cooperation - not cynicism and combat.

Rick Perry

What I claim is to live to the full the contradiction of my time, which may well make sarcasm the condition of truth.

Roland Barthes

The cynic is one who never sees a good quality in a man, and never fails to see a bad one. He is the human owl, vigilant in darkness and blind to light, mousing for vermin, and never seeing noble game.

Henry Ward Beecher

The satirist is prevented by repulsion from gaining a better knowledge of the world he is attracted to, yet he is forced by attraction to concern himself with the world that repels him.

Italo Calvino

Sarcasm I now see to be, in general, the language of the devil; for which reason I have long since as good as renounced it.

Thomas Carlyle

I'm a hopeful cynic.

Tracy Chapman

By rights, satire is a lonely and introspective occupation, for nobody can describe a fool to the life without much patient self-inspection.

Frank Moore Colby

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