Originated around 1540–50 From Latin Cynicus (cynic philosopher), from Ancient Greek Κυνικός (Kynikós) (literally doglike, currish), from κύων (dog) + -ικός; see Proto-Indo-European *kwon-. The word may have first been applied to Cynics because of the nickname κύων kuōn (dog) given to Diogenes of Sinope, the prototypical Cynic.
Cynic (plural Cynics)
- A member of a sect of Ancient Greek philosophers who believed virtue to be the only good and self-control to be the only means of achieving virtue.
Cynic (not comparable)
- Of or relating to the Cynics.
- “Cynic” in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition, Boston, Mass.: Houghton Mifflin, 2000, →ISBN.