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

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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

In recent weeks, Calipari has insisted his team is trending in the right direction despite lackluster results on the court. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "Still trying to figure out this Kentucky team? You're not alone. So is John Calipari," 9 Feb. 2018 This setback was no different than in lackluster losses to the struggling Sacramento Kings (twice), the Phoenix Suns, Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Lakers. Keith Pompey,, "Sixers lose to lowly Brooklyn Nets, 116-108 despite 29 points from Joel Embiid," 31 Jan. 2018 Wage growth has been lackluster since the Great Recession. Heather Long,, "Inflation hits 6-year high, wiping out wage gains for the average American," 13 July 2018 Ruzicka said the supply of homes isn't close to keeping up with demand, and new-home construction is lackluster. Paul Gores, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "June home sales down, prices up in metro Milwaukee as supply lags demand," 11 July 2018 Uneeda’s fries are a paragon of the golden-crisp, potatoey-tasting, mid-gauge style (skip the poutine, as the gravy is lackluster). Bethany Jean Clement, The Seattle Times, "Seattle’s top 4 burger spots — ranked by Seattle Times critics," 10 July 2018 The Wall Street Journal reported that the response was lackluster, with Diet Coke enthusiasts paying more attention than seltzer drinkers. Mckenna Moore, Fortune, "Diet Coke Just Dropped Its Lime Flavor. Cherry Could Be Next To Go," 3 July 2018 Dentists also argued that the evidence of success in Minnesota — where dozens of dental therapists work — has been lackluster. Priyanka Dayal Mccluskey,, "Compromise bill advances to allow dental therapists, a new kind of provider, in Mass.," 25 Apr. 2018 Although the episode’s jaw-dropping plot twist is revealed as this number comes to a close, the song itself is a little lackluster. Gianluca Russo, Teen Vogue, "The "Riverdale" Musical Numbers, Ranked," 19 Apr. 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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Statistics for lackluster

Last Updated

20 Nov 2018

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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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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).


by force of circumstances

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