lack·​a·​dai·​si·​cal ˌla-kə-ˈdā-zi-kəl How to pronounce lackadaisical (audio)
: lacking life, spirit, or zest : languid
teachers who are impatient with lackadaisical students
lackadaisically adverb

Did you know?

Where does lackadaisical come from?

We’re too enthusiastic about the lexicon to be lackadaisical about words, but lackadaisical itself is rooted in the sort of sorrow that can put a damper on one’s passion for vocabulary expansion. When folks living from the late 17th to the late 19th century had one of those days when nothing goes right, they could cry "Lackaday!" to express their sorrow and disappointment as a shortened form of the expression "alack the day." (Alack is an interjection used to express sorrow or regret.) By the mid-1700s, the adjective lackadaisical had been formed to describe these miserable ones and their doings and sayings. Around the same time, the word lackadaisy was introduced to the language as an interjection similar to lackaday; it was never as prevalent as lackaday, but it may have influenced the development of lackadaisical.

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of lackadaisical in a Sentence

His teachers did not approve of his lackadaisical approach to homework. feeling particularly lackadaisical in the summer heat, they lazily tossed a ball back and forth
Recent Examples on the Web How would the Yankees, who’d lost 13 of 17 and often looked lackadaisical doing it, respond Saturday? Dom Amore, Hartford Courant, 7 July 2024 Brondello’s squad flipped a switch in the second half, but the lackadaisical start was too much to come back from. Fiifi Frimpong, New York Daily News, 25 May 2024 The residents who led the battle back in 2009 had moved away and the community became lackadaisical by not attending public meetings to keep an eye on the governance, Clark said. Noelle Phillips, The Denver Post, 16 June 2024 Following a lackadaisical performance to begin Game 1, the Rangers came out firing in the second game of the series. Antwan Staley, New York Daily News, 25 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for lackadaisical 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lackadaisical.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


irregular from lackaday + -ical

First Known Use

1768, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of lackadaisical was in 1768


Dictionary Entries Near lackadaisical

Cite this Entry

“Lackadaisical.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


lack·​a·​dai·​si·​cal ˌlak-ə-ˈdā-zi-kəl How to pronounce lackadaisical (audio)
: lacking spirit or enthusiasm : languid, listless
lackadaisically adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on lackadaisical

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!