ennui was our Word of the Day on 11/15/2009. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of ennui in a Sentence
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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: Writings, 1984
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
Recent Examples of ennui from the Web
The signs began as a suggestion on the online chat space 4chan last month, a kind of Internet prank laced with ennui and cynicism about race and white identity in modern-day America.
Ori Pfeffer is ennui inducingly low key in the underwritten central role of Yoel, a sadsack fortysomething estranged from his (seldom glimpsed) wife and young son.
Some infidelities are petty rebellions, sparked by a sense of ennui, a desire for novelty, or the need to know one still has pulling power.
The lead-up to the election has been characterized by tediousness and ennui over the inevitability of a fourth Merkel chancellorship.
This is the Smiths at their melancholic best, evoking and addressing ennui without romanticizing it or succumbing to a sense of hopelessness.
Blending elements of magical realism, political strife and Kafkaesque ennui to partially satisfying effect, Oblivion Verses (Los Versos del Olvido) marks an intriguing if rather elusive feature debut for Iranian writer-director Alireza Khatami.
Built long before automobiles and ennui swept Westchester County, the brick structure consists of a 1789 house—which actually served as a hotel throughout much of the 19th century—and a curved 1921 addition by Shreve, Lamb & Harmon.
Environmental catastrophe; economic collapse; epidemics; aliens; serial killers; kidnappers; weaponized ennui; apocalypse of varying stripes—each fear has found a form, on a screen, as a monster.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ennui.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
The French loanword ennui comes from the very same Late Latin word that gave us annoy — inodiare ("to make loathsome"). We borrowed ennui several centuries after absorbing annoy into the language. Ennui deals more with boredom than irritation - and a somewhat specific sort of boredom at that. It generally refers to the feeling of jadedness that can result from living a life of too much ease. The poet Charles Lloyd described it well in his 1823 Stanzas to Ennui when he referred to that world-weary sensation as a "soul-destroying fiend" which visits with its "pale unrest / The chambers of the human breast / Where too much happiness hath fixed its home."
Synonymsblahs, doldrums, boredom, listlessness, restlessness, tedium, weariness
Related Wordscheerlessness, dispiritedness, joylessness, melancholy; languidness, languor, lassitude, lethargy, lifelessness, torpidity, torpor; dullness (also dulness), monotonousness, monotony, sameness; apathy, indifference, unconcern
Near Antonymsbeguilement, bewitchment, captivation, enchantment, fascination; absorption, engagement, engrossment, immersion, involvement; animation, enlivenment, excitement, invigoration, stimulation; amusement, entertainment; diversion, relief
ENNUI Defined for English Language Learners
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