Misanthropic – Definition, Meaning & Use In A Sentence

31.05.24 Definitions Time to read: 3min

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Understanding the exact definitions of terms is crucial in academic writing to ensure effective communication of concepts. In scholarly environments, where technical meanings are prevalent, a limited comprehension of a term’s actual meaning can lead to unintentional misunderstandings. This article thoroughly examines the etymology, definition, and correct usage of the term “misanthropic.”

Definition of “misanthropic”

“Misanthropic” is an adjective that describes someone who harbors a general dislike, distrust, or contempt for humankind or human nature. It suggests a cynical or pessimistic view of human behavior and society, often leading to feelings of alienation or estrangement from others.

Use of “misanthropic” in a sentence

The word “misanthropic” functions as an adjective. It describes an attitude or state of mind characterized by a profound lack of trust or faith in the inherent goodness of humanity. It often manifests as a belief that human beings are selfish, corrupt, or inherently flawed, leading to a general aversion to social interaction and a preference for solitude. The following examples show how to use this term in a sentence.


  • Despite his misanthropic tendencies, John attended the community gathering.
  • The author’s misanthropic worldview shaped his novel about our corrupt society.
  • Sarah’s misanthropic demeanor made it hard for her to form a meaningful relationship.

How to spell “misanthropic” correctly

The word “misanthropic” has its roots in Greek. It is derived from the Greek words:

  • “misos,” meaning “hatred”
  • “anthropos,” meaning “human being” or “mankind”

When combined, “misos” and “anthropos” form “misanthropos,” which can be translated to “hater of mankind” or “hater of humanity.” “Misos” itself comes from the root word “mis-” and means “wrong, wrongly.” In English, this Greek term evolved into “misanthropic,” retaining its original meaning of harboring a deep dislike, hatred, or distrust of humanity.

Correct spelling




Wrong spelling




Synonyms for “misanthropic”

If you feel unsure about the correct spelling of the word “misanthropic” in sentences, it may be helpful to use synonyms for it. This way, you can grasp a thorough understanding of it and use the term correctly.

Simultaneously, you can avoid repetition and redundancy in your academic work. The table below lists alternative words for it, together with respective examples of how to use them properly.

Synonyms Examples
Cynical He's misanthropic about people's motives.
He's cynical about people's motives.
Pessimistic She has a misanthropic view of the world.
She has a pessimistic view of the world.
Distrustful He's misanthropic of strangers.
He's distrustful of strangers.
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“Misanthropic” refers to a negative attitude or distrust towards humanity or human nature. It describes a deep-seated dislike, disdain, or lack of faith in the goodness of people. Someone who is misanthropic typically views humans as selfish, deceitful, or inherently flawed, leading to feelings of alienation, isolation, or withdrawal from society.

A person may become misanthropic due to negative experiences, disillusionment, personal beliefs, isolation, mental health issues, or cultural influences. These factors can lead to a general distrust or dislike of humanity as a whole.

A cynic distrusts people’s motives and believes they are primarily self-serving, while a misanthrope holds a deep-seated dislike or aversion towards humanity as a whole. In colloquial usage, the distinction between cynicism and misanthropy may blur, leading to the terms being used interchangeably.

Misanthropy is not a mental illness itself, but rather a negative attitude or worldview towards humanity. It can be a symptom of underlying mental health issues, but it is not considered a diagnosis on its own.