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How would you describe a person who is the total opposite of cynical? I thought of 'idealistic' or 'straightforward' but they don't seem right.

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    Either naive, or something in its constellation of synonyms (eg ingenuous).
    – Dan Bron
    Oct 27, 2014 at 13:21
  • A few antonyms are: trusting, believing and undoubting.
    – user66974
    Oct 27, 2014 at 13:22
  • @DanBron That's an answer.
    – bib
    Oct 27, 2014 at 15:29
  • @bib, for GR questions, I tend to leave comments, rather than just copy/paste the dictionary as an answer.
    – Dan Bron
    Oct 27, 2014 at 15:34
  • @DanBron I think it's more than general reference. There are subtle differences among the proposed terms and I think your is best. These questions and answers can be even better with a discussion of the connotative meanings, not just the definitions.
    – bib
    Oct 27, 2014 at 15:59

2 Answers 2

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gullible

Easily persuaded to believe something; credulous

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/gullible

Synonyms:

credulous, over-trusting, over-trustful, trustful, easily deceived/led, easily taken in, exploitable, dupable, deceivable, impressionable, unsuspecting, unsuspicious, unwary, unguarded, unsceptical, ingenuous, naive, innocent, simple, inexperienced, unworldly, green, as green as grass, childlike, ignorant; foolish, silly

informal

wet behind the ears, born yesterday

gullible vs credulous

A gullible person is easy to deceive because they are too ready to believe or trust someone ( professional manipulators intent on pulling the wool over the eyes of a gullible public). They are particularly likely to believe something that would be to their advantage or that they want to be true. Gullible carries a note of scornful pity at someone's foolish failure to examine the evidence critically. Credulous also describes people who are too ready to believe or accept what they are told ( the very incomprehensibility of the modern world has made us even more credulous), but, unlike gullible, credulous does not necessarily imply that anyone is deliberately trying to take advantage of an easily-fooled person.

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english-thesaurus/gullible#gullible__1

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Cynical can be used in different contexts. Some example sentences of its synonyms ...

  • I’m rather skeptical about his chances of winning despite what the paper say.
  • It is ironic that she became a teacher, she used to hate school when she was a girl.
  • I think the original sales figures were too pessimistic.
  • People who don’t like him said he was very sarcastic.

Cynical -sentence usage examples

Antonyms: Credulous,gullible,hopeful,optimistic,trustful,unskeptical,unsuspecting (etc.)

  • He must have been pretty gullible to fall for that old trick.
  • I feel hopeful that we’ll find a suitable house very soon.
  • She is not optimistic about the outcome.
  • He had crept upon his unsuspecting victim from behind
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  • I think cynical is like sarcastic in that they imply a slightly mocking/contemptuous attitude. It is the opposite of this I am looking for, rather than simply if something is believed or not. In any case I'll award this the answer if nothing better comes up...
    – sangil
    Oct 27, 2014 at 16:15
  • opposite of slightly or opposite of mocking?
    – Oldcat
    Oct 27, 2014 at 18:44

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