Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  


Home

Today's Word

Yesterday's Word

Archives

FAQ



Oct 19, 2012
This week's theme
Optimists and pessimists from fiction who became words

This week's words
pollyanna
jeremiah
micawber
cassandra
pangloss

Pangloss
Pangloss
Illustration: Barry Deutsch

This week's comments
AWADmail 538

Next week's theme
Words that aren't what they appear to be
Discuss
Feedback
RSS/XML
Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Pangloss

PRONUNCIATION:
(PAN-glos)

MEANING:
noun: One who is optimistic regardless of the circumstances.
adjective: Blindly or unreasonably optimistic.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Dr. Pangloss, a philosopher and tutor in Voltaire's 1759 satire Candide. Pangloss believes that, in spite of what happens -- shipwreck, earthquake, hanging, flogging, and more -- "All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds." The name is coined from Greek panglossia (talkativeness). Earliest documented use: 1794.

USAGE:
"Steven Pinker is a Pangloss ... The world is a better place than it used to be."
Bill McSweeney; Why We Should Look on the Bright Side; The Irish Times (Dublin); Dec 3, 2011.

"Don Regan tried to pick up where Mike Deaver left off in the spin game of gilding foul-ups with a Pangloss sheen, but he was a bit too candid."
Jim Fain; Lights, Action, Camera Again; Observer-Reporter (Pennsylvania); Aug 14, 1987.

See more usage examples of Pangloss in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
I think that to get under the surface and really appreciate the beauty of a country, one has to go there poor. -Grace Moore, actress and singer (1898-1947)

A.Word.A.Day by email:

Subscribe

"The most welcomed, most enduring piece of daily mass e-mail in cyberspace."

The New York Times

Sponsored by:

Give the Gift of Words

Share the magic of words. Send a gift subscription of A.Word.A.Day.

Anu on Words:
Writer Magazine
Globe & Mail

Interact:

Bulletin board
Wordsmith Talk

Moderated Chat
Wordsmith Chat

Readers' Voice
AWADmail

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 2014 Wordsmith