hebetude was our Word of the Day on 12/12/2008. Hear the podcast!
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
Did You Know?
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").
Origin and Etymology of hebetude
Late Latin hebetudo, from hebēre to be dull; akin to Latin hebes dull
First Known Use: circa 1621
Medical Definition of hebetude
: the absence of mental alertness and affect (as in schizophrenia)
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up hebetude? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).