adjective lack·a·dai·si·cal \ ˌla-kə-ˈdā-zi-kəl \
|Updated on: 11 Aug 2018

Definition of lackadaisical

: lacking life, spirit, or zest : languid
  • teachers who are impatient with lackadaisical students


play \ˌla-kə-ˈdā-zi-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

lackadaisical was our Word of the Day on 07/10/2013. Hear the podcast!

Examples of lackadaisical in a Sentence

  1. His teachers did not approve of his lackadaisical approach to homework.

  2. feeling particularly lackadaisical in the summer heat, they lazily tossed a ball back and forth

Recent Examples of lackadaisical from the Web

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

Where Does lackadaisical Come From?

Alas, alack, there are times when life seems to be one unfortunate occurrence after another. We’ve all had days when nothing seemed to go right. When folks had one of those days back in the 17th century, they'd cry "Lackaday" to express their sorrow and disappointment. "Lackaday" was a shortened form of the expression "alack the day." In the mid-1700s, "lackadaisical" was coined through addition of the suffix -ical. The word lackadaisy also was used around that time as an interjection similar to "lackaday," and this word, though never as prevalent as "lackaday," might have influenced the coinage of "lackadaisical."

Origin and Etymology of lackadaisical

irregular from lackaday + -ical

Synonym Discussion of lackadaisical

languid, languorous, lackadaisical, listless, spiritless mean lacking energy or enthusiasm. languid refers to an unwillingness or inability to exert oneself due to fatigue or physical weakness.
    • was depressed and languid for weeks after surgery
languorous suggests a dreamy boredom and delicacy that avoids unnecessary activity.
    • languorous cats lying in the sun
lackadaisical implies a carefree indifference marked by half-hearted efforts.
    • lackadaisical college seniors pretending to study
listless suggests a lack of interest caused by physical weakness or dissatisfied boredom.
    • listless hospital patients
    • listless children flipping through picture books on a rainy day
spiritless refers to a lack of animation or vigor that gives one's actions and words life.
    • a spiritless recital of the poem

LACKADAISICAL Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of lackadaisical for English Language Learners

  • : feeling or showing a lack of interest or enthusiasm

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