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 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 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 The doctor there, Imran Arbani, was immediately alarmed: The girl was limp and lethargic, her head flopped over on her father’s shoulder. New York Times, "The City Losing Its Children to H.I.V.," 31 Mar. 2021 Salmonella can make pets lethargic and have vomiting, diarrhea and fever, according to a statement from the company. Rachel Trent, CNN, "Three months after aflatoxin recall, Midwestern Pet Foods recalls dog and cat foods over salmonella risk," 29 Mar. 2021 The stocked rainbow trout that delighted ice fishermen in recent weeks should be a little lethargic right now, said fisheries biologist Mike Durkalec of the Cleveland Metroparks. D'arcy Egan, cleveland, "Steelhead fishing gets early boost: NE Ohio fishing report for weekend of March 5-7, 2021," 4 Mar. 2021 Emaciated and lethargic, the animal was taken to Channel Islands Marine & Wildlife Institute (CIMWI), a center that rescues and rehabilitates stranded marine mammals found in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Winston Gieseke, USA TODAY, "In California: Newsom pledges more vaccines for Central Valley farmworkers," 23 Feb. 2021 Pets with salmonella infections may be lethargic, have diarrhea, decreased appetite or even appear healthy but carry the infection to others. Kate Gibson, CBS News, "Pet foods recalled nationwide due to salmonella risk," 30 Mar. 2021 Via the recall bulletin posted by the FDA: Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Mike Wehner, BGR, "If you have this pet food in your home, throw it away immediately," 29 Mar. 2021 Mantha has skated way better and been noticeably more active with the puck over the past handful of games, after a lethargic first half. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Red Wings lose Jonathan Bernier but Robby Fabbri hat trick gives them win streak," 19 Mar. 2021 Their team was lethargic, tentative, passive, uninspired, reactive instead of proactive. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Utah State 57, SDSU 45: The loss that saved the Aztecs’ season," 17 Mar. 2021

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

16 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lethargic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lethargic. Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for lethargic



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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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