adjective le·thar·gic \lə-ˈthär-jik, le-\

Definition of lethargic

  1. 1 :  of, relating to, or characterized by laziness or lack of energy :  feeling or affected by lethargy :  sluggish The patient was weak and lethargic.

  2. 2 :  indifferent, apathetic The legislature was lethargic in considering the bill.


play \lə-ˈthär-ji-k(ə-)lē, le-\ adverb

Examples of lethargic in a sentence

  1. You'll need to move your lure as slowly as possible to tempt the lethargic fish into feeding … —Lenny Rudow, Boating, December 1997

  2. … became a drifter and for a time an alcoholic and finally lapsed into lethargic self-abasement. —Stanley Karnow, New York Times Book Review, 14 Oct. 1984

  3. The audience was cold and lethargic. It is true there were about fifty-seven applauses, but they were not roars of enthusiasm by any means. —Lady Bird Johnson, 12 Jan. 1966, in A White House Diary, 1970

  4. The patient is weak and lethargic.

  5. a big meal always makes me feel lethargic and sleepy

Did You Know?

In Greek mythology, Lethe was the name of a river in the underworld that was also called the River of Unmindfulness or the River of Forgetfulness. Legend held that when someone died, he or she was given a drink of water from the river Lethe to forget all about his or her past life. Eventually this act of forgetting came to be associated with feelings of sluggishness, inactivity, or indifference. The name of the river and the word lethargic, as well as the related noun lethargy, all derive from lethe, Greek for forgetfulness.

Origin and Etymology of lethargic

see lethargy

First Known Use: 14th century

LETHARGIC Defined for English Language Learners


adjective le·thar·gic \lə-ˈthär-jik, le-\

Definition of lethargic for English Language Learners

  • : feeling a lack of energy or a lack of interest in doing things

Seen and Heard

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contemplative of or relative to the past

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