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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Optimism \Op"ti*mism\, n. [L. optimus the best; akin to optio choice: cf. F. optimisme. See Option.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Metaph.) The opinion or doctrine that everything in nature, being the work of God, is ordered for the best, or that the ordering of things in the universe is such as to produce the highest good. [1913 Webster] 2. A habitual tendency or a present disposition to take the most hopeful view of future events, and to expect a favorable outcome even when unfavorable outcomes are possible; -- opposed to pessimism. [1913 Webster +PJC]