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.
First Known Use of lackluster
LACKLUSTER Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of lackluster for English Language Learners
: lacking excitement or interest
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up lackluster? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).