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adjective list·less \ˈlist-ləs\

Simple Definition of listless

  • : lacking energy or spirit

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of listless

  1. :  characterized by lack of interest, energy, or spirit <a listless melancholy attitude>

listlessly adverb
listlessness noun

Examples of listless in a sentence

  1. He became listless, answered in monosyllables, gurgled, drank a great deal of whisky, and looked with hateful eyes at everyone. —Isaiah Berlin, New York Times Book Review, 12 Apr. 1987

  2. She looked up and saw everyone starting his work. She took out a piece of paper, feeling listless and bored as she did. —Louise Fitzhugh, Harriet the Spy, 1964

  3. His blue eyes had lost their colour; they had a listless droop; and his mouth, losing the fulness of youth, was weak and pale. —W. Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage, 1915

  4. Her pretty face was wan and listless, her hair uncurled—some locks hanging lankly down, and some carelessly twisted round her head. —Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights, 1847

  5. The heat made everyone tired and listless.

  6. The party was a listless affair.

Origin of listless

Middle English listles, from 2list (see 2list)

First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of listless

languid, languorous, lackadaisical, listless, spiritless mean lacking energy or enthusiasm. languid refers to an unwillingness or inability to exert oneself due to fatigue or physical weakness <was depressed and languid for weeks after surgery>. languorous suggests a dreamy boredom and delicacy that avoids unnecessary activity <languorous cats lying in the sun>. lackadaisical implies a carefree indifference marked by halfhearted efforts <lackadaisical college seniors pretending to study>. listless suggests a lack of interest caused by physical weakness or dissatisfied boredom <listless hospital patients> <listless children flipping through picture books on a rainy day>. spiritless refers to a lack of animation or vigor that gives one's actions and words life <a spiritless recital of the poem>.

LISTLESS Defined for Kids


adjective list·less \ˈlist-ləs\

Definition of listless for Students

  1. :  too tired or too little interested to want to do things

listlessly adverb
listlessness noun

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up listless? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to expose to danger or risk

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