lackluster

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adjective lack·lus·ter \ ˈlak-ˌlə-stər \

Definition of lackluster

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

lackluster

noun

lackluster was our Word of the Day on 02/07/2013. Hear the podcast!

Recent Examples of lackluster from the Web

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.

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

1600


LACKLUSTER Defined for English Language Learners

lackluster

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adjective

Definition of lackluster for English Language Learners

  • : lacking excitement or interest



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