Cynic Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old cynic quotes, cynic sayings, and cynic proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.


Remember, beneath every cynic there lies a romantic, and probably an injured one.     

Glenn Beck

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

Jose Ortega Y Gasset

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

For the cynic, art is defined through money. That, of course, is a very sad statement. But an artist is someone who does creative things.     

Wolfgang Beltracchi

Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth.     

Lillian Hellman

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

Don't be a cynic and disconsolate preacher. Don't bewail and moan. Omit the negative propositions. Challenge us with incessant affirmatives.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The cynics are right nine times out of ten.     

H. L. Mencken

Never be a cynic, even a gentle one. Never help out a sneer, even at the devil.     

Vachel Lindsay

The most unrealistic person in the world is the cynic, not the dreamer.     

Paul Hawken

Perhaps no philosopher is more correct than the cynic. The happiness of the animal, that thorough cynic, is the living proof of cynicism.     

Friedrich Nietzsche

The cynic thinks that he is being practical and that the hopeful person is not. It is actually the other way around. Cynicism is paralyzing, while the naïve person tries what the cynic says is impossible and sometimes succeeds.     

Charles Eisenstein

What is the use of straining after an amiable view of things, when a cynical view is most likely to be the true one?.     

George Bernard Shaw

A cynic is a kind of romantic who has aged.     

John Updike

If you're regularly willing to give a critique, but not willing to take one, you're not a leader, you're a cynic.     

Ed Stetzer

Cynic: an idealist whose rose-colored glasses have been removed, snapped in two and stomped into the ground, immediately improving his vision.     

Rick Bayan

It is cynicism, and not idealism, that is generally the mark of youthful immaturity, or rather it is the cynic who is generally the most foolish romantic.     

Andrew Sarris

Cynicism is not realistic and tough. It's unrealistic and kind of cowardly because it means you don't have to try. ---in Good Housekeeping     

Peggy Noonan

The cynic is his own worst enemy. It requires far less skill to run a wrecking company than it does to be an architect.     

Uell Stanley Andersen

Cynicism is easy. An optimist is a braver cynic.     

Colum Mccann

A cynic by experience, a romantic by inclination and now a hero by necessity.     

David Gemmell

The cynic is a coward. He foresees all barrenness so that barrenness can never surprise him.     

Anais Nin

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

The cynic puts all human actions into two classes - openly bad and secretly bad.     

Henry Ward Beecher

A cynic sees little to admire in the world, while the world sees even less to admire in him.     

Evan Esar

Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist.     

George Carlin

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

Carolyn Wells

Cynicism and skepticism are the crudest form of quasi-intellectualism... Let the cynic become cynical of his cynicism and the skeptic skeptical of his skepticism and join the battle.     

R. C. Sproul

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

H. L. Mencken

There is nothing so pitiful as a young cynic because he has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing.     

Maya Angelou

No man in his heart is quite so cynical as a well-bred woman.     

W. Somerset Maugham

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

Cynics regarded everybody as equally corrupt... Idealists regarded everybody as equally corrupt, except themselves.     

Robert Anton Wilson

"Cynic" is a word invented by optimists to put down realists.     

Stefano Benni

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 Gould Cozzens

The scholar without good breeding is a pedant; the philosopher, a cynic.     

Lord Chesterfield

In the philosophical dialect, a cynic takes an insult as a compliment since opposition is already his style.     

Criss Jami

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

Oscar Wilde

The worst government is often the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression.     

H. L. Mencken

Cynic, n. A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are not as they ought to be.     

Ambrose Bierce

A cynic should never marry an idealist. For the cynic, marriage represents the welcome end of romantic life, with all its agony and ecstasy. But for the idealist, it is only the beginning.     

Julie Burchill

A cynic might suggest as the motto of modern life this simple legend— Just as good as the real.     

Charles Dudley Warner

Cynicism is reality with an alternate spelling.     

Woody Allen

It is impossible to be a cynic if you live a good deal with young people. Fundamentally, every young person has a feeling that the future is going to hold something of value.     

Eleanor Roosevelt

It's hard to argue against cynics - they always sound smarter than optimists because they have so much evidence on their side.     

Molly Ivins

The cynic sees only cynicism, the depressive can taint creation with one glance.     

Anna Funder