Optimistic Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It

Many say it’s essential to be optimistic — but what is the meaning of optimistic? Read on to discover everything you need to know.

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Believe it or not, an optimistic attitude may lead to a happier, healthier, and more successful life. Yup, it’s true — researchers found that optimism can protect against depression and promote longevity. 

Interested in learning more? We can help. Read on to discover our complete guide on optimism. 

What Is the Definition of Optimistic?

Optimistic, by definition, is an adjective for expecting the absolute best in all things regardless of the situation. An optimistic person will be hopeful about the best possible outcome occurring — even if the situation seems dire.

In other words, the word optimistic refers to someone who is hopeful and confident about the future. 

What Is the Word Origin of Optimistic? 

Optimistic — characterized by or pertaining to optimism — derives from the Latin optimum, which simply means “best.” Although its history is a bit blurry, the philosopher Gottfried Leibniz used the term in 1710 to denote “the best of all possible worlds.” 

In 1737, the French “optimisme” made its debut, paving the way for the English version which was later identified in 1759. That said, it wasn’t until 1819 when the word optimistic was interpreted as a belief that “good” will finally prevail.  

Note: The noun optimist derives from the French optimisme.

What Are the Synonyms and Antonyms of Optimistic?

Now that you understand what the word optimistic means, let’s take a look at a few synonyms and antonyms. In short, synonyms are words or phrases that have the same or nearly the same meaning. Antonyms, on the other hand, are words or phrases with opposite meanings.

Synonyms of optimistic include:

  • Encouraging 
  • Full of promise
  • Advantageous
  • Looking on the bright side
  • Providential 
  • Of good cheer
  • Seen through rose-colored spectacles
  • Pollyannaish 
  • Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed 
  • Utopian
  • Go getting
  • Cheering
  • Buoyant 
  • Eager beaver 
  • Positive
  • Hard driving
  • Merry 
  • On top of the world
  • Disposed to look on the bright side
  • Sanguine
  • On the make
  • Confident 
  • Always expecting the best
  • Keeping the faith

Antonyms of optimistic include:

  • Pessimistic person 
  • Gloomy
  • Cheerless
  • Down to earth 
  • Downbeat
  • Down in the dumps
  • Sorrowful 
  • Sullen 
  • Off-putting 
  • Startling 
  • Saturnine 
  • Good for nothing 
  • Negative
  • Blue
  • Hopeless 

How Can You Use Optimistic in a Sentence?

Ready to put your newfound knowledge to the test? Quiz yourself to see how many sentences you can conjure up properly using the word optimistic. 

Need some help? Check out our example sentences listed below:

I like to keep an optimistic outlook on life. With positive thinking, the glass will always be half full. 

Mr. Stevens is usually a gloomy guy, but today he ended his lecture on an optimistic note. 

Not only is Sarah optimistic, but she always has a positive attitude. That’s why I want to nominate her for Employee of the Month.

You may be in an optimistic mood or have some grand (albeit optimistic) plans, but I will never lose in a game of Scrabble. 

He had optimistic plans, but due to a small oversight, his dream came tumbling down.

If you ask me, an optimistic view is the best kind of view.

I like to manifest that a favorable outcome will happen. Why? Because I’m optimistic.

John has had bad luck all season, but he’s still optimistic that things will turn around.

Despite the endless barrage of negativity, She remained optimistic about her situation at work. 

I didn’t study for the test at all so I am not feeling very optimistic about passing.

Things may not be going according to plan right now, but keep your chin up and stay optimistic — good things come to good people!

What Are Translations of Optimistic?

Did you know that there are a number of ways you can say our word of the day? Yup — here are some of the most common translations of optimistic:

  • Arabic: مُتَفَائِلً 
  • Brazilian Portuguese: otimista 
  • Czech: optimistický 
  • Danish: optimistisk
  • Romanian: optimist
  • Russian: оптимистичный 
  • Spanish: optimista 
  • Swedish: optimistisk
  • Finnish: optimistinen 
  • French: optimiste 
  • Japanese: 楽観的な 
  • Korean: 낙천적인 
  • Norwegian: optimistisk 
  • Polish: optymistyczny 
  • European Portuguese: otimista
  • German: optimistisch 
  • Greek: αισιόδοξος 
  • Italian: ottimista
  • Thai: ซึ่งมองโลกในแง่ดี
  • Turkish: iyimser 
  • Ukrainian: оптимістичний
  • Vietnamese: lạc quan
  • Dutch: optimistisch 
  • European Spanish: optimista
  • Chinese: 乐观的 
  • Croatian: optimističan

Are There Any Benefits to Being Optimistic?

As a matter of fact, research shows that there are a number of potential advantages to having a cheery disposition — here are some of them:

  • More happiness
  • Better relationships
  • Fewer negative emotions
  • Improved health
  • Longer life expectancy
  • Less stress
  • Better emotional well-being 


If you’re more of the glass-half-full type of person, it would probably be safe to say that you’re an optimistic person. Put simply, if you’re optimistic, you tend to be hopeful of the future and expect good things to happen. 

We hope this guide has provided you with all the information you need to truly understand the term optimistic. If you’d like to expand your vocabulary by discovering more interesting words, head over to our website where you’ll find a number of helpful blogs, useful tools, grammar tips, and more. 


  1. Optimistic Synonyms | Collins English Thesaurus 
  2. Optimistic definitions – Meaning of Optimistic | Power Thesaurus 
  3. Optimistic: definition | Cambridge English Dictionary 
  4. Optimism and your health | Harvard Health