le·​thar·​gic | \ lə-ˈthär-jik How to pronounce lethargic (audio) , le- \

Definition of lethargic

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

Other Words from lethargic

lethargically \ lə-​ˈthär-​ji-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce lethargic (audio) , le-​ \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for lethargic



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 lēthē, Greek for "forgetfulness."

Examples of lethargic in a Sentence

You'll need to move your lure as slowly as possible to tempt the lethargic fish into feeding … — Lenny Rudow, Boating, December 1997 … 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 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 Diary1970 The patient is weak and lethargic. a big meal always makes me feel lethargic and sleepy
Recent Examples on the Web Hertha had taken an early lead against a lethargic Borussia Dortmund side in the 18th minute when Ishak Belfodil scored. Manuel Veth, Forbes, 15 May 2022 Also, if the symptoms are persistent and not getting better, or if your child starts getting lethargic, contact your doctor. Katia Hetter, CNN, 9 May 2022 The standard 177-hp inline-four feels rather lethargic, and the laggy six-speed automatic on front-wheel-drive models certainly doesn't help things out. Austin Irwin, Car and Driver, 28 Apr. 2022 In addition, those who suffer from depression may experience a lack of motivation, a lethargic feeling, or a lack of energy, Dr. Lee said. Caroline Chirichella, Health.com, 21 Apr. 2022 This was despite the fact that a cable car was already chugging its way toward us like a lethargic great white shark, its little bell dinging away in toy-like fury. Bonnie Garmus, Bon Appétit, 19 Apr. 2022 That’s a drag as disappointing as the Prius’s lethargic acceleration. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 9 Apr. 2022 But after UConn had a lackluster win at DePaul, a lethargic loss to Creighton and a confidence-bruising loss at Villanova, Dan Hurley was searching. courant.com, 8 Feb. 2022 The baby appeared lethargic and paramedics rushed the infant back to hospital and gave it a second dose of Narcan, according to police. Nathan Solis, Los Angeles Times, 22 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lethargic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of lethargic

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lethargic

see lethargy

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best sleep trackers.

Learn More About lethargic

Time Traveler for lethargic

Time Traveler

The first known use of lethargic was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast About lethargic

Dictionary Entries Near lethargic

lethal gene



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for lethargic

Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Lethargic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lethargic. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on lethargic

Nglish: Translation of lethargic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lethargic for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!