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

And hopes for a longer run this go around were diminished by a lackluster performance Wednesday at this host city just east of the Ural Mountains. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "Germany Eliminated From World Cup as Sweden, Mexico Advance," 27 June 2018 Biglari Holdings disclosed in a regulatory filing that the lackluster performance was driven by a 7.2 percent drop in customer traffic and a 1.7 percent decline in same-store sales at Steak n Shake. Patrick Danner, San Antonio Express-News, "Biglari Holdings narrows 1Q loss in first report following controversial stock split," 4 May 2018 Another lackluster performance in April, however, could mean that worker shortages are having a bigger impact on hiring. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "ADP: Businesses added solid 204K jobs in April," 2 May 2018 Connecticut homes sales turned in a lackluster performance in March, but those that did sell commanded some of the highest prices in nearly four years, a new report Tuesday showed. Kenneth R. Gosselin,, "Connecticut Home Sales Fall, Prices Rise in March," 1 May 2018 The motivational song might be just what Neymar needs, as he was recently criticized for a lackluster performance during Brazil’s first two World Cup games. Judy Cantor-navas, Billboard, "Neymar Honored by New Unofficial Brazilian World Cup Song 'Jogar Para Animar': Listen," 27 June 2018 Egypt has also had a lackluster performance in the tournament. Jenna West,, "How to Watch Saudi Arabia vs. Egypt: World Cup Live Stream, TV Channel," 25 June 2018 Brazil With a lackluster performance resulting in a 1-1 draw against Switzerland on Sunday, Brazil failed to win its World Cup opener for the first time since 1978. Glenn Graham,, "Early hits and misses at the 2018 World Cup," 20 June 2018 Bloomberg reports that Republicans see a path for Bob Hugin after Menendez’s lackluster primary performance. NBC News, "First Read's Morning Clips: A 10-point lead for Dems," 7 June 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

11 Sep 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).


the setting in which something occurs

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