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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web For humans, that level of lethargy would come at a cost. Chris Woolston, Smithsonian Magazine, 15 Apr. 2022 But the game was the latest example of a Nets performance that could be quantified as a head-scratching mix of world-beating talent and worrisome lethargy. New York Times, 13 Apr. 2022 There’s a definite lethargy in my life, that’s for sure. Washington Post, 5 Oct. 2020 Be warned: Ingesting too much can result in a range of possible side effects—from an irregular heartbeat to high blood pressure, muscle weakness, and lethargy—caused by glycyrrhizin depleting your body’s potassium levels. Rebecca Douglas, Bon Appétit, 20 Apr. 2022 The most common symptoms in pets exposed to cannabis included disorientation, lethargy, abnormal or uncoordinated movements such as swaying, lowered heart rate and urinary incontinence. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, 20 Apr. 2022 Salmonella bacteria can cause diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps, with severe cases potentially leading to lethargy, rash, blood in the urine or stool and, in some cases, death. Lisa Schencker, chicagotribune.com, 2 Mar. 2022 Symptoms include abnormal movements, grunting breaths, irritability, jaundice, lethargy, poor feeding, rash, temperature changes, or blood in the urine or stool, according to the FDA. Steve Almasy, CNN, 28 Feb. 2022 Severe cases of salmonellosis can cause a high fever, aches, headaches, lethargy, rashes and blood in urine or stool. Sophie Reardon, CBS News, 19 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

23 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Lethargy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lethargy. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for lethargy


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

More from Merriam-Webster on lethargy

Nglish: Translation of lethargy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lethargy for Arabic Speakers


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