leth·​ar·​gy | \ ˈle-thər-jē How to pronounce lethargy (audio) \

Definition of lethargy

1 : abnormal drowsiness
2 : the quality or state of being lazy, sluggish, or indifferent

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Synonyms & Antonyms for lethargy



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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of lethargy in a Sentence

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 Warming himself ever so briefly had shaken away the lethargy and resignation and restored his will to survive. — Lois Lowry, The Giver, 1993 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 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 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 Symptoms of the disease include loss of appetite and lethargy. I snapped out of my lethargy and began cleaning the house.
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Recent Examples on the Web Guilt about recent lethargy kicks in as productivity mind gears up, and apprehension about workaday pressure builds as leisure mind cedes power. Derek Thompson, The Atlantic, "How Civilization Broke Our Brains," 13 Dec. 2020 Dogs may also develop a fever, lethargy, a running nose or sneezing, or a loss of appetite. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, "Kennel cough is ripping through Anchorage dog parks, and veterinarians recommend social distancing for pets," 27 Jan. 2021 While nothing changes the current realities of the pandemic, gaining a deeper understanding of what's at play with this gradual, paralyzing feeling of lethargy—and how best to cope with it—can be helpful in powering through. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "How to Cope With Lockdown Fatigue This Winter," 18 Jan. 2021 But its deficiencies—poor infection control, insufficient staffing, bureaucratic lethargy—are not unusual in the elder-care industry. Jay Caspian Kang, The New Yorker, "What the San Francisco Bay Area Can Teach Us About Fighting a Pandemic," 4 Jan. 2021 Remember, overcoming lethargy and still succeeding is a rare, irreplaceable quality. Barry Wilner, Star Tribune, "On Football: Be prepared or be ready for an unexpected test," 9 Nov. 2020 Symptoms in rabbits include: lethargy, high fever, seizures, jaundice, bleeding from nose, mouth, or rectum, difficulty breathing, and sudden death. Outdoor Life, "A Deadly Virus Is Spreading Among Wild Rabbits and Hares. Wildlife Agencies Are Calling on Hunters for Help," 21 Dec. 2020 But that just means the Cowboys owner has fewer options available to him now to shake this team out of its lethargy. David Moore, Dallas News, "For the Dallas Cowboys, this season has taken on the same dark tone as 10 years ago," 27 Oct. 2020 Data collected in initial trials show side effects are mild and include fever, headache, arm soreness and lethargy. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, "COVID vaccine in Alabama: Everything you need to know," 9 Dec. 2020

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

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First Known Use of lethargy

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lethargy

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

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Time Traveler for lethargy

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for lethargy

Last Updated

16 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lethargy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lethargy. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for lethargy



English Language Learners Definition of lethargy

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


leth·​ar·​gy | \ ˈleth-ər-jē How to pronounce lethargy (audio) \
plural lethargies

Medical Definition of lethargy

1 : abnormal drowsiness
2 : the quality or state of being lazy, sluggish, or indifferent

Other Words from lethargy

lethargic adjective

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