lack·​a·​dai·​si·​cal | \ ˌla-kə-ˈdā-zi-kəl How to pronounce lackadaisical (audio) \

Definition of lackadaisical

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

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Other Words from lackadaisical

lackadaisically \ ˌla-​kə-​ˈdā-​zi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce lackadaisically (audio) \ adverb

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

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.

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 Some state officials, workers and families of victims have criticized Mexico’s government for its lackadaisical approach to the virus, calling it slow and irresponsible. Dallas News, "U.S. companies join call for reopening of border factories despite rising deathsThis article has comments enabled.," 23 Apr. 2020 The concern is that the lackadaisical approach has allowed the virus to spread largely unnoticed, setting the stage for a disaster in countries where the health care systems are underfunded and poorly equipped. Richard C. Paddock, New York Times, "Having Brushed Off Coronavirus Threat, Southeast Asia Begins to Confront It," 17 Mar. 2020 Half- hearted, slightly lackadaisical, dismissive responses in one country and the effort to try to handle things and not get too much disturbance because there are elections coming up in another country this weekend. Fortune, "‘Where’s the leadership?’ A Q&A with WHO special envoy David Nabarro on COVID-19," 14 Mar. 2020 Frustration with what some see as a lackadaisical response mounted Monday as the toll of the virus rose. Noah Weiland, New York Times, "White House Asks Congress for Billions to Fight Coronavirus," 10 Mar. 2020 Read More In Italy’s Chinese community, there is astonishment at what many consider to be the lackadaisical response of most Italians. Margherita Stancati, WSJ, "At Heart of Europe’s Biggest Virus Outbreak, Some Milanese Long for Normal Life," 3 Mar. 2020 Criticizing the lackadaisical response of some countries on Monday, the World Health Organization's head did not cite name names but his comments at times seemed squarely aimed to America. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump wants ‘the country opened,’ but easing coronavirus restrictions now would be disastrous, experts say," 24 Mar. 2020 And then Powell poked the ball away from a lackadaisical Forrest, dribbling between the logo and the 3-point arc. Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press, "The 2020 NCAA tournament that could have been: Return to Elite status for Michigan State?," 21 Mar. 2020 Our lackadaisical heroine Muzi in particular seems to spend a considerable chunk of the running time dragging on a cigarette and staring moodily into space. Neil Young, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Cloud in Her Room': Film Review | Rotterdam 2020," 11 Feb. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of lackadaisical

1768, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for lackadaisical

irregular from lackaday + -ical

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Time Traveler for lackadaisical

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The first known use of lackadaisical was in 1768

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Last Updated

18 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Lackadaisical.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for lackadaisical


How to pronounce lackadaisical (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of lackadaisical

: feeling or showing a lack of interest or enthusiasm

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