lack·​lus·​ter | \ ˈlak-ˌlə-stər How to pronounce lackluster (audio) \

Definition of lackluster

: lacking in sheen, brilliance, or vitality : dull, mediocre The actor gave a lackluster performance.

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Other Words from lackluster

lackluster noun

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In its earliest uses, "lackluster" (also spelled "lacklustre") usually described the eyes or face, as in "a lackluster stare." Later, it came to describe other things whose sheen had been removed; Charles Dickens, in his 1843 novel Martin Chuzzlewit, writes of the faded image of the dragon on the sign outside a village alehouse: "many a wintry storm of rain, snow, sleet, and hail, had changed his colour from a gaudy blue to a faint lack-lustre shade of grey." In addition to "a glow or sheen," "luster" can refer to a superficial attractiveness or appearance of excellence; it follows that "lackluster" is often used as a synonym for "unspectacular," as in our examples.

Examples of lackluster in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Auburn’s offense was lackluster in the early goings Saturday, settling for field goals on each of its first two drives and scoring just one touchdown before halftime. Tom Green |, al, 11 Sep. 2021 My using a Mac, but the smart home integration is lackluster outside of Siri. Hunter Fenollol, Popular Mechanics, 25 Aug. 2021 But their response is often lackluster, some claim. Amy Fallon, Quartz, 12 Aug. 2021 Nagy understands how important offensive line steadiness will be to the Bears’ efforts to revive an offense that has been lackluster for most of the last two seasons. Dan Wiederer,, 3 Aug. 2021 Despite a lackluster performance, Arizona College Prep did something that the team could look at as a positive going into next week. Austin Nicholson, The Arizona Republic, 28 Aug. 2021 The belief heading into the season was that the sure-handed Dalbec would be able to make the transition smoothly, but the different angles at first have played a part in his lackluster performance., 25 Aug. 2021 After a lackluster performance in the team’s lone preseason game against Cleveland over the weekend, the former Florida Gator was among the first five cut from the roster after Week 1 of the NFL preseason. Mark Heim |, al, 25 Aug. 2021 After a lackluster performance in the team’s lone preseason game against Cleveland over the weekend, the former Heisman Trophy winner’s shortcomings were on display. Mark Heim |, al, 17 Aug. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lackluster.' 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 lackluster

1600, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for lackluster

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The first known use of lackluster was in 1600

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Last Updated

15 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lackluster.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for lackluster



English Language Learners Definition of lackluster

: lacking excitement or interest


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