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ennui

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noun en·nui \ˌän-ˈwē\

Simple Definition of ennui

  • : a lack of spirit, enthusiasm, or interest

Full Definition of ennui

  1. :  a feeling of weariness and dissatisfaction :  boredom

Examples of ennui

  1. When the antiproton was discovered … it sent a wave of ennui through the physics community. Not that its discovery was unimportant, but on the basis of Dirac's theory, everybody expected it. —Roger G. Newton, The Truth of Science, 1997

  2. Chauncey and I were keen enough about our aesthetic solution to the ennui of war to try to proselytize others. He organized discussion groups with the crew; I took volunteers to visit landmarks … —Louis Auchincloss, “Atlantic War,” in Authors at Sea, ed. Robert Shenk, 1997

  3. The attendant outside was standing on tennis balls, exercising the soles of her feet, her body swaying back and forth with the ennui of jelly. —Edna O'Brien, New Yorker, 17 June 1991

  4. Thus the days of life are consumed, one by one, without an object beyond the present moment; ever flying from the ennui of that, yet carrying it with us … —Thomas Jefferson in a letter dated 7 Feb. 1787, Thomas Jefferson: Writings1984

  5. <the kind of ennui that comes from having too much time on one's hands and too little will to find something productive to do>



Origin of ennui

French, from Old French enui annoyance, from enuier to vex, from Late Latin inodiare to make loathsome — more at annoy


First Known Use: 1732

Rhymes with ennui

ackee, Agee, agley, aiguille, agree, Albee, alee, ani, at sea, Attlee, Bacchae, bailee, Bangui, banshee, bargee, bawbee, bee tree, Belgae, big tree, bohea, bootee, bougie, break free, buckshee, burgee, Bt, callee, Capri, carefree, CB, CD, Chablis, Chaldee, chickpea, chili, church key, confit, cowpea, croquis, curie, dead-tree, debris, decree, deep-sea, degree, Denis, donee, DP, draftee, drawee, Dundee, emcee, esprit, etui, farci, feoffee, flame tree, foresee, for free, fringe tree, fusee, GB, germfree, glacis, goatee, grandee, grand prix, grantee, green tea, GT, heart-free, he/she, high sea, high tea, Horae, hot key, Humvee, IC, in fee, IV, Jaycee, jaygee, jayvee, Jiangxi, knock-knee, KP, latchkey, lessee, listee, look-see, low-key, LP, lychee, mamey, maquis, Marie, marquee, MC, mentee, Midi, mille-feuille, muggee, must-see, Nancy, ngwee, North Sea, OD, off-key, ogee, Osee, Parcae, pardie, Parsi, passkey, Pawnee, payee, PC, Pee Dee, peewee, pewee, PG, pledgee, pollee, pongee, post-free, précis, puree, puttee, qt, raki, rani, razee, Red Sea, rooftree, Ross Sea, rupee, rushee, RV, scot-free, settee, Shaanxi, shade tree, Shanxi, s/he, shift key, shoe tree, sightsee, signee, silk tree, sirree, smoke tree, snap pea, snow pea, spadille, spahi, spondee, squeegee, standee, state tree, strophe, suttee, sweat bee, sycee, TB, tepee, testee, 3-D, titi, to-be, toll-free, topee, to sea, towhee, townee, trainee, Tralee, trochee, trustee, Tupi, turfski, turnkey, tutee, Tutsi, tutti, TV, unbe, vendee, vestee, Volsci, vouchee, whangee, whoopee, wind tee, would-be, Yangtze, yen-shee



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