Definition of lassitude
Examples of lassitude in a sentence
Symptoms of the disease include paleness and lassitude.
<our lassitude was such that we couldn't even be bothered to get more soda from the fridge>
Sick and Tired: the Literal and Figurative Meanings of lassitude
Lassitude and weariness make an interesting pair. As with many nearly synonymous pairs of words in English, one is derived from Latin and the other from Old English. Even though they both mean “the condition of being tired,” they are used in different ways. Following a common pattern, the Latinate word tends to be used in technical, medical, and formal writing, and the Old English-derived word is used when referring to physical, emotional, and spiritual qualities.
Lassitude comes from the Latin word lassus, meaning “weary.” Our English spelling comes from the French word that developed directly from Latin, borrowed in the 15th century. In French, the word las (masculine) or lasse (feminine) means “weary” or “tired,” and the idiom être las de means “to be sick and tired of.” This led to another English word with the same root: alas, a word that expresses sadness or disappointment, but conveys some measure of fatigue and resignation as well.
Though it sometimes is just a fancy word for fatigue in medical contexts, lassitude is also used in ways that are metaphorical and closer in meaning to “negligence”:
Congress was being choked by pettiness and lassitude.
The case was delayed because of sheer lassitude.
The failure was the result of moral lassitude.
Origin and Etymology of lassitude
Middle English, from Latin lassitudo, from lassus weary; probably akin to Old English læt late — more at late
First Known Use: 15th century
Synonym Discussion of lassitude
LASSITUDE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of lassitude for English Language Learners
formal + medical : the condition of being tired : lack of physical or mental energy
Medical Definition of lassitude
: a condition of weariness, debility, or fatigue <a disease typically accompanied by chronic lassitude>
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up lassitude? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).