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, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit
There is nothing so pitiful as a young cynic because he has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing.
MAYA ANGELOU, attributed, The Truth in Words
Cynicism is intellectual dandyism.
GEORGE MEREDITH, The Egoist
A cheap and easy cynicism rails at everything. The master of the art accomplishes the formidable task of discrimination.
AMBROSE BIERCE, "Epigrams of a Cynic"
Every ounce of my cynicism is supported by historical precedent.
Cynicism is not realistic and tough. It's unrealistic and kind of cowardly, because it means you don't have to try.
PEGGY NOONAN, Good Housekeeping
Cynicism was a one-way path, and once taken the way back was lost forever.
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, On the Contrary
Cynicism--the intellectual cripple's substitute for intelligence.
RUSSELL LYNES, attributed, The Little Giant Encyclopedia of Toasts & Quotes
The cynic is to the world what the confirmed bachelor is to mankind.
E. P. DAY, attributed, Day's Collacon
[The] power of accurate observation ... is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.
BERNARD SHAW, Shaw's Music
Cynic, n. A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are not as they ought to be.
AMBROSE BIERCE, The Devil's Dictionary
A cynic is a person searching for an honest man, with a stolen lantern.
EDGAR A. SHOAFF, attributed, Bathroom Almanac
Scratch any cynic and you will find a disappointed idealist.
GEORGE CARLIN, stand-up routine
A cynic sees little to admire in the world, while the world sees even less to admire in him.
EVAN ESAR, 20,000 Quips & Quotes
Cynic: An idealist whose rose-colored glasses have been removed, snapped in two and stomped into the ground, immediately improving his vision.
RICK BAYAN, The Cynic's Dictionary
Don't be a cynic and disconsolate preacher. Don't bewail and bemoan. Omit the negative propositions. Nerve us with incessant affirmatives. Don't waste yourself in rejection, nor bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good.
RALPH WALDO EMERSON, Society and Solitude
A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for the coffin.
H. L. MENCKEN, The Smart Set
Cynicism, like gullibility, is a symptom of underdeveloped critical faculties.
JAMIE WHYTE, Crimes Against Logic
A beardless cynic is the shame of nature.
The greater part of the truth is always hidden, in regions out of the reach of cynicism.
J. R. R. TOLKIEN, letter to Michael Tolkien, Nov. 1, 1963
Cynicism ... merely critiques. It is passive, cocooning itself from the passions of the great cosmic battle we are engaged in. It is without hope.
PAUL E. MILLER, A Praying Life
Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.
CHARLIE CHAPLIN, The Great Dictator
No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up.
LILY TOMLIN, stand-up routine
Cynicism is intellectual treason.
NORMAN COUSINS, Human Options
A cynic is just a man who found out when he was about ten that there wasn't any Santa Claus, and he's still upset. Yes, there'll be more war ; and soon, I don't doubt. There always has been. There'll be deaths and disappointments and failures. When they come, you meet them.
JAMES GOULD COZZENS, The Just and the Unjust
Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us.
STEPHEN COLBERT, Knox College commencement address, Jun. 3, 2006