lack·​lus·​ter | \ ˈlak-ˌlə-stər \

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

Did You Know?

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

But those gains subsided somewhat ahead of Tuesday’s open after JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo reported lackluster earnings results, pulling shares of financial companies lower. David Hodari, WSJ, "U.S. Stocks Rise, Lifted by Energy, Tech Sectors," 15 Jan. 2019 While under contract with Callaway, he was seen using other brands' clubs and blamed lackluster results on his equipment. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, "How unusual, costly is it for Masters champ Patrick Reed to go without equipment sponsor?," 13 Apr. 2018 Rethink Robotics suffered from lackluster sales, due in part to strong competition. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Groundbreaking maker of gentle factory robots shuts down," 8 Oct. 2018 The promoter nixed the once-independent event, reportedly because of lackluster ticket sales, according to Billboard, prompting questions on its viability as a brand going forward. Randall Roberts,, "Local festivals Music Tastes Good and Desert Daze contemplate a landscape suddenly downsized without FYF Fest," 10 May 2018 As department stores try to turn around years of lackluster sales and compete with online shopping, off-price retailers, especially T.J. Maxx — which reported an uptick in first-quarter sales in February — continue to do well. Elizabeth Wellington,, "She visited 60 stores to celebrate her 60th birthday, so T.J. Maxx threw this Abington woman a birthday party | Elizabeth Wellington," 9 May 2018 The bottom line is that the iPhone X is $999, and based on the lackluster sales, consumers can’t or won’t pay for something that expensive. Kim Quindlen, Teen Vogue, "New iPhone X and iPhone SE Rumors Suggest New Apple Lineup," 27 Apr. 2018 After two years of lackluster sales, the company pulled the plug on cosmetics and recalibrated its focus back to skin care. Ashley Weatherford, The Cut, "Get Ready for Sunday Riley Makeup," 6 Mar. 2018 Hollywood was hurting from lackluster ticket sales, banks were closing all over the country and here was a glitzy mega-tour pushing a movie genre that was losing favor in Hollywood. Dawn Mitchell, Indianapolis Star, "RetroIndy: '42nd Street Special' brought Hollywood stars to Indy," 22 Feb. 2018

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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Last Updated

13 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for lackluster

The first known use of lackluster was in 1600

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English Language Learners Definition of lackluster

: lacking excitement or interest

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