adjective in·do·lent \ ˈin-də-lənt \
|Updated on: 15 Jul 2018

Definition of indolent

1 a : causing little or no pain
b : slow to develop or heal
  • indolent tumors
  • indolent ulcers
2 a : averse to activity, effort, or movement : habitually lazy
b : conducive to or encouraging laziness
  • indolent heat
c : showing an inclination to laziness
  • an indolent sigh



Examples of indolent in a Sentence

  1. Perhaps Henry James's idea of the taste for art in England as a "tribute to propriety" holds perversely true, with the indolent taste for scandal and celebrity having taken hold as a bizarre new form of etiquette. —Sebastian SmeeProspectJuly 2003
  2. At home, however, there's something indolent about listening to a record that offers no hope for the unexpected. —John MilwardRolling Stone11–25 July 1991
  3. Air-conditioning is for the weak and indolent. This isn't the Ritz, you know. Be thankful for a little breeze. It was luxuries like A/C that brought down the Roman Empire. —Garrison KeillorLake Wobegon Days(1985) 1986
  4. She is indolent and irresponsible.

  5. an indolent boy who had to be forced to help out with the chores

Recent Examples of indolent from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'indolent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of indolent

Late Latin indolent-, indolens insensitive to pain, from Latin in- + dolent-, dolens, present participle of dolēre to feel pain

Synonym Discussion of indolent

lazy, indolent, slothful mean not easily aroused to activity. lazy suggests a disinclination to work or to take trouble.
    • take-out foods for lazy cooks
indolent suggests a love of ease and a dislike of movement or activity.
    • the heat made us indolent
slothful implies a temperamental inability to act promptly or speedily when action or speed is called for.
    • fired for being slothful about filling orders

INDOLENT Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of indolent for English Language Learners

  • : not liking to work or be active

INDOLENT Defined for Kids


adjective in·do·lent \ ˈin-də-lənt \

Definition of indolent for Students

: lazy 1, idle

Medical Dictionary


adjective in·do·lent \ ˈin-də-lənt \

medical Definition of indolent

1 : causing little or no pain
  • an indolent tumor
2 a : growing or progressing slowly
  • leprosy is an indolent infectious disease
b : slow to heal
  • an indolent ulcer


play \-lənt(t)s\ noun

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excessive admiration or flattery

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