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Timon +‎ -ist, from the 5th-century BC person Timon of Athens (as described by Plutarch, Lucian, Aristophanes). Used by Robert Greene in his Greene's Mourning Garment (1590). (Shakespeare's play Timon of Athens is usually estimated c. 1607 and would not have influenced Greene; however, some consider the play could be one of Shakepeare's earliests, and could then have been Greene's source.)



Timonist (plural Timonists)

  1. A sort of bitter misanthrope related to Timonism, like Timon of Athens.
    • 1590, Robert Greene, Greene's Mourning Garment:[1]
      Yet was he not [...] such a Timonist, but hee would familiarly conuerse with his friends. [sic]
    • 1602, Thomas Dekker, Satiromastix:[1]
      I did it to retyre me from the world; And turne my Muse into a Timonist. [sic]
    • 1988, Paul Ollswang, "Cynicism":[2]
      Cynicism is often contrasted with "Timonism" (cf. Shakespeare's Timon of Athens). Cynics saw what people could be & were angered by what they had become; Timonists felt humans were hopelessly stupid & uncaring by nature & so saw no hope for change.



Timonist (comparative more Timonist, superlative most Timonist)

  1. Of a form of bitter misanthropy related to Timonism, like Timon of Athens.
    • 1988, Maurice Charney, Hamlet's fictions:[3]
      Marston poses as the Timonist malcontent satirist ready to excoriate the world for its follies.


Related terms[edit]



  1. 1.0 1.1 See OED.
  2. ^ Paul Ollswang, "Cynicism: A Series of Cartoons on a Philosophical Theme", January 1988, page at official site; repr. in The Best Comics of the Decade 1980-1990 Vol. 1, Seattle: Fantagraphics Books, 1990, →ISBN, p. 23.
  3. ^ Maurice Charney, Hamlet's fictions, Routledge, 1988, →ISBN, p. 154 at Google Books.