Hebetude usually suggests mental dullness, often marked by laziness or torpor. As such, it was a good word for one Queenslander correspondent, who wrote in a letter to the editor of the Weekend Australian of "an epidemic of hebetude among young people who … are placing too great a reliance on electronic devices to do their thinking and remembering." "Hebetude" comes from Late Latin hebetudo, which means pretty much the same thing as our word. It is also closely related to the Latin word for "dull" - "hebes," which has extended meanings such as "obtuse," "doltish," and "stupid." Other "hebe-" words in English include "hebetudinous" ("marked by hebetude") and "hebetate" ("to make dull").
Examples of hebetude in a Sentence
faced with a class forever enveloped in a miasma of apathy and intellectual hebetude, the professor had little hope of kindling an interest in medieval European history
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hebetude.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.