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

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

Population growth has continued to trickle up, labor force availability, especially in the construction industry, is lackluster at best, and productivity figures for the economy at large show minuscule improvements. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "The 10 top emerging trends that will shape real estate in 2019," 10 Oct. 2018 Economic woes such as a lackluster job-market growth and soaring real estate prices are compounding Moon's problems, adding to opposition to his North Korea policy, many experts say. Fox News, "Skepticism rising in S. Korea ahead of 3rd summit with North," 15 Sep. 2018 Les Bleus, who are seventh in the FIFA world rankings, got past Australia 2-1 in their openerdespite a mostly lackluster effort from their trio of elite strikers. Kyle Hightower,, "France hope for better performance against Peru," 20 June 2018 As Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign so aptly reminded, wealthy donors can’t turn lackluster candidate into gold. Alexander Nazaryan, Newsweek, "Can Donald Trump, the Most Unpopular President Ever, Save Republicans From a Massive Defeat in 2018?," 21 Feb. 2018 But the gas project has proved lackluster and APEC ended in acrimony as Chinese and U.S officials quarreled over trade rivalries. Rob Taylor, WSJ, "Dude, Where’s My Car? Pacific Nation Loses Fleet of Official Vehicles," 25 Jan. 2019 There's considerably less reason for desktop users to bother with the App Store than there is on a phone or tablet, and the App Store has always felt a bit lackluster compared to its mobile counterpart. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Apple announces macOS 10.14 “Mojave”," 4 June 2018 Chances are that the bottom of your hair isn't greasy, so applying an oil absorber all over can just make your hair stiff and lackluster. Sam Escobar, Good Housekeeping, "7 Mistakes You Make Using Dry Shampoo," 31 July 2015 That rich parents could pay their lackluster children’s ways into top colleges means, inevitably, that students who worked really hard for those same spots didn’t get them. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "What Is the College Admissions Scandal? Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman Were Indicted," 15 Mar. 2019

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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Statistics for lackluster

Last Updated

24 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for lackluster

The first known use of lackluster was in 1600

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More Definitions for lackluster



English Language Learners Definition of lackluster

: lacking excitement or interest

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Comments on lackluster

What made you want to look up lackluster? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


having no equal

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