je·​june ji-ˈjün How to pronounce jejune (audio)
: devoid of significance or interest : dull
jejune lectures
… the "literary" fiction being written in this country nowadays strikes me as so jejune, self-absorbed and lifeless that I am just about unable to read it, much less pass fair judgment on it.Jonathan Yardley
: juvenile, puerile
jejune reflections on life and art
So downplay your romantic and adolescent past. This means no jejune wall art. Says one discerning friend, "I see a Lolita poster, I'm out of there."Allison Glock
: lacking nutritive value
jejune diets
jejunely adverb
jejuneness noun

Did you know?

Is it jejune?

Starved for excitement? You won't get it from something jejune. The term comes to us from the Latin word jejunus, which means "empty of food," "hungry," or "meager." When English speakers first used jejune back in the 1600s, they applied it in ways that mirrored the meaning of its Latin parent, lamenting "jejune appetites" and "jejune morsels." Something that is meager rarely satisfies, and before long jejune was being used not only for meager meals or hunger, but also for things lacking in intellectual or emotional substance. It’s possible that the word gained its now-popular "juvenile" or "childish" sense when people confused it with the look-alike French word jeune, which means "young."

Choose the Right Synonym for jejune

insipid, vapid, flat, jejune, banal, inane mean devoid of qualities that make for spirit and character.

insipid implies a lack of sufficient taste or savor to please or interest.

an insipid romance with platitudes on every page

vapid suggests a lack of liveliness, force, or spirit.

an exciting story given a vapid treatment

flat applies to things that have lost their sparkle or zest.

although well-regarded in its day, the novel now seems flat

jejune suggests a lack of rewarding or satisfying substance.

a jejune and gassy speech

banal stresses the complete absence of freshness, novelty, or immediacy.

a banal tale of unrequited love

inane implies a lack of any significant or convincing quality.

an inane interpretation of the play

Examples of jejune in a Sentence

She made jejune remarks about life and art. another moralizing tale filled with jejune platitudes

Word History


Latin jejunus empty of food, hungry, meager

First Known Use

1646, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Time Traveler
The first known use of jejune was in 1646


Dictionary Entries Near jejune

Cite this Entry

“Jejune.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

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