Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Blindly or naively optimistic.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Naively or unreasonably optimistic.
  • adj. Of or relating to the view that this is the best of all possible worlds.

Etymologies

After Pangloss, an optimist in Candide, a satire by Voltaire.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Dr. Pangloss, a character in Voltaire’s Candide. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Guardian International correspondent Jonathan Steele called Bush's and Blair's denial of the horrors attending the Iraq civil war "Panglossian" - referring to the ever optimistic Dr. Pangloss of Voltaire's novel Candide who, at every disaster, proclaims that ours is the best of all possible worlds.

    Surge to Purge: The 80% Solution in Iraq

  • Bonus points to Dr. Chen for getting the word "Panglossian" into a news article.

    April 13th, 2009

  • I say this not out of any kind of Panglossian complacency.

    Biennial Sir Arthur Tange Lecture in Australian Diplomacy

  • For years he has tried to divert our attention from the "Panglossian" strategic principles of adaptationism, and now he has stubbed his own toe on one of them: if an organism has one trick that it always uses, chances are that eventually the evolving world will catch on and expose it to counter-measures.

    'Confusion Over Evolution': An Exchange

  • If it's not immediately clear, the headline writer uses "Panglossian" to say the opposite of what it means.

    W.C. Varones

  • Pangloss is the wildly optimistic character in Voltaire's Candide -- "Panglossian" is to say overly cheery.

    W.C. Varones

  • Maybe this is good news in the "Panglossian" sense for Wells Fargo & Co.

    24/7 Wall Street

  • Such a survey would show, I think, that Professor Galbraith is very sensitive to the moods of the moment, moving with but little resistance and even less acknowledgment from a kind of Panglossian optimism in American Capitalism (and the same year's famous New York Times Magazine article 'We Can Prosper Without War Orders'), through increasing skepticism in the middle books (The Affluent Society and The New Industrial State), to something which now displays what is at times ill-concealed alarm.

    Galbraith's Utopia

  • His appointment, along with ex-Finance Minister Hirohisa Fujii as a top lieutenant, underscores Mr. Kan's apparent push to put unpalatable policies in front of voters, after years of Panglossian political platforms by both his party and the other guys.

    Japan's New Deficit Hawk, Deflation Dove

  • The end result of the changes in the publishing landscape is that anyone can write but fewer people can make a living at it, and that will have consequences, no matter what Panglossian gloss you want to put on it.

    Matthew Yglesias » Wieseltier on the Journalistic Proletariat

Comments

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  • Even solar’s biggest allies on Capitol Hill—people like Edward J. Markey, a top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee—fear the industry’s oil and gas foes may have gotten the upper hand now that the clean-tech bubble has burst. “We are not Panglossian about what lies ahead,” Markey says.

    February 20, 2012