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.

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from lethargic

lethargically \ lə-​ˈthär-​ji-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce lethargically (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 lethe, 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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Orange Beach Wildlife staff is discouraging any contact with raccoons who appear blind, confused, lethargic or aggressive. Lily Jackson | Ljackson@al.com, al, "Raccoon unrest: Orange Beach officials warn public about raccoon distemper," 19 May 2020 Once the pathogen crosses the blood-brain barrier and infects the central nervous system, the patient becomes lethargic or insane, then goes into a coma, and finally dies. Carey Baraka, Quartz Africa, "I am alive because my Kenyan great-grandfather quarantined 100 years ago and here we go again," 26 Apr. 2020 Over a period of days, this patient, who had heart disease, diabetes and moderate cognitive impairment, stopped walking and became incontinent and profoundly lethargic. Judith Graham, CNN, "Seniors with Covid-19 show unusual symptoms, doctors say," 23 Apr. 2020 While lethargic in form, the rapid-fire bouts were massively entertaining, especially with Valentino Kahn, 12th Planet, and Snails all doing their own Michael Buffer impersonations. Harry Levin, Billboard, "Video Games With Nghtmre, Losing to Chris Lake at Billiards & Other Adventures at Holy Ship! Wrecked 2020," 29 Jan. 2020 So much for the Irish possibly being lethargic and uninterested. Tom Noie, Indianapolis Star, "Noie: This was Notre Dame at its collective best one final time in 2019," 28 Dec. 2019 Staff from the aquarium responded on Sunday, but said the eel was too lethargic to put back in the ocean. oregonlive, "Pacific snake eel, rarely seen in Oregon, washes up near Astoria," 30 Mar. 2020 The Mazda is the second quickest to 60 mph in this relatively lethargic group. Rich Ceppos, Car and Driver, "Compact SUV Battle: Ford vs. Honda vs. Mazda vs. Subaru vs. Toyota vs. VW," 20 Apr. 2020 Well, those lethargic vibes end right now thanks to this week of new Netflix shows and movies. Ariana Romero, refinery29.com, "You Have 11 New Netflix Treats To Binge This Weekend — Here’s What’s Worth Watching," 17 Apr. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of lethargic

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lethargic

see lethargy

Keep scrolling for more

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

Statistics for lethargic

Last Updated

31 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Lethargic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lethargic. Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for lethargic


How to pronounce lethargic (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of lethargic

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on lethargic

What made you want to look up lethargic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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