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 Our Nissan's test results tell the story of its lethargy. Rich Ceppos, Car and Driver, "We'd Like Our Nissan Altima More If It Were Quicker," 6 Feb. 2020 Glycyrrhizin can cause the body's potassium levels to fall which can cause abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure, swelling, lethargy and congestive heart failure. N'dea Yancey-bragg, USA TODAY, "Eating too much black licorice can be dangerous. Should you be worried this Halloween?," 31 Oct. 2019 After several years of lethargy, best actor is the year’s most competitive category. Washington Post, "Oscar Predictions: Can ‘Parasite’ upset ‘1917’?," 5 Feb. 2020 The Celtics cost themselves in the ultimate 129-114 loss with an unexpected case of lethargy that has spread throughout the team. Gary Washburn, BostonGlobe.com, "In loss to Spurs, lethargic Celtics have only themselves to blame," 9 Jan. 2020 Those infected will develop chills, fever, lethargy and joint pain. Robyn Merrett, PEOPLE.com, "Michigan Farmer Becomes Sixth Person in the State to Die After Contracting Mosquito-Borne EEE Virus," 18 Nov. 2019 Leading the charge for me was lethargy similar to the flu, inability to see joy in anything, instantaneous irritability, headaches and difficulty making decisions. Matt Baer, The Hollywood Reporter, ""I Didn't Know What Was Happening to Me": Hollywood Pros Share Stories of Overcoming Depression and Anxiety," 17 Jan. 2020 Surprisingly, some studies suggest that many patients wind up feeling better on lower doses or none at all, as side effects such as lethargy, mental fog and extreme constipation fade away. Claudia Wallis, Scientific American, "How to Break the Bonds of Opioids," 20 Dec. 2019 The clamor of the house is reduced to a restful calm, and everyone blames the turkey for their lethargy. BostonGlobe.com, "Blame gluttony, not the turkey, for postmeal sleepiness, a Tufts dietitian says - The Boston Globe," 27 Nov. 2019

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

9 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Lethargy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lethargy. Accessed 28 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for lethargy


How to pronounce lethargy (audio)

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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