adjective La·od·i·ce·an \lā-ˌä-də-ˈsē-ən, ˌlā-ō-də-\

Definition of Laodicean

  1. :  lukewarm or indifferent in religion or politics



Laodicean was our Word of the Day on 09/21/2009. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

English speakers owe the word Laodicean to Chapter 3, verses 15 and 16 of the Book of Revelation, in which the church of Laodicea is admonished for being "neither cold nor hot, . . . neither one nor the other, but just lukewarm" in its devotion. By 1633, the name of that tepid biblical church had become a general term for any half-hearted or irresolute follower of a religious faith. Since then, the word’s use has broadened to cover flimsy political devotion as well. For example, in comparing U.S. presidents, journalist Samuel Hopkins Adams compared "the fiery and aggressive [Theodore] Roosevelt" to "the timorous Laodicean [Warren] Harding."

Origin and Etymology of laodicean

from the reproach to the church of the Laodiceans in Revelation 3:15–16

First Known Use: 1633

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