noun leth·ar·gy \ˈle-thər-jē\

Definition of lethargy

  1. 1 :  abnormal drowsiness

  2. 2 :  the quality or state of being lazy, sluggish, or indifferent

Examples of lethargy in a sentence

  1. However, on arrival, a mysterious illness had debilitated Darcus Bowden. An illness that no doctor could find any physical symptoms of, but which manifested itself in the most incredible lethargy, creating in Darcus … a lifelong affection for the dole, the armchair, and British television. —Zadie Smith, White Teeth, 2001

  2. Warming himself ever so briefly had shaken away the lethargy and resignation and restored his will to survive. —Lois Lowry, The Giver, 1993

  3. Dick Gale drew a long, deep breath. A coldness, a lethargy, an indifference that had weighed upon him for months had passed out of his being. —Zane Grey, Desert Gold, 1913

  4. Then it occurred to me that I had shut the window before I had come to bed. I would have got out to make certain on the point, but some leaden lethargy seemed to chain my limbs and even my will. —Bram Stoker, Dracula, 1897

  5. St. Clare knew this well; and often, in many a weary hour, he heard that slender, childish voice calling him to the skies, and saw that little hand pointing to him the way of life; but a heavy lethargy of sorrow lay on him,—he could not arise. —Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin, 1852

  6. Symptoms of the disease include loss of appetite and lethargy.

  7. I snapped out of my lethargy and began cleaning the house.

Origin and Etymology of lethargy

Middle English litargie, from Medieval Latin litargia, from Late Latin lethargia, from Greek lēthargia, from lēthargos forgetful, lethargic, irregular from lēthē

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of lethargy

lethargy, languor, lassitude, stupor, torpor mean physical or mental inertness. lethargy implies such drowsiness or aversion to activity as is induced by disease, injury, or drugs months of lethargy followed my accident. languor suggests inertia induced by an enervating climate or illness or love languor induced by a tropical vacation. lassitude stresses listlessness or indifference resulting from fatigue or poor health a depression marked by lassitude. stupor implies a deadening of the mind and senses by shock, narcotics, or intoxicants lapsed into an alcoholic stupor. torpor implies a state of suspended animation as of hibernating animals but may suggest merely extreme sluggishness a once alert mind now in a torpor.

LETHARGY Defined for English Language Learners


noun leth·ar·gy \ˈle-thər-jē\

Definition of lethargy for English Language Learners

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

Medical Dictionary


noun leth·ar·gy \ˈleth-ər-jē\

Medical Definition of lethargy



  1. 1:  abnormal drowsiness

  2. 2:  the quality or state of being lazy, sluggish, or indifferent



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