life·​less | \ˈlīf-ləs \

Definition of lifeless 

: having no life:

a : dead

b : inanimate

c : lacking qualities expressive of life and vigor : insipid

d : destitute of living beings

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from lifeless

lifelessly adverb
lifelessness noun

Examples of lifeless in a Sentence

a cold and lifeless landscape The book's plot was lifeless and predictable.

Recent Examples on the Web

Constitutionalism is not a mere institutional form but a culture—a set of sentiments, habits and assumptions, a permeating spirit that animates an otherwise lifeless paper scheme. Joseph Tartakovsky, WSJ, "The Culture That Sustains America’s Constitution," 2 July 2018 On Friday, divers escorted the lifeless body of Saman Gunan from the darkness to the light. Paul Daugherty,, "Paul Daugherty: Thailand cave rescue shows what true heroism is all about," 9 July 2018 On a night in which the offense was lifeless, Royals left fielder Alex Gordon’s defense was anything but. Sam Mcdowell, kansascity, "National League’s worst pitching staff shuts down the Royals a second straight night," 13 June 2018 Some are lifeless on arrival, biologists say, and their deaths barely register with the public. Mike Ives, New York Times, "Whale’s Death in Thailand Points to Global Scourge: Plastic in Oceans," 4 June 2018 The Pelicans were lifeless to begin the night and Dallas took advantage by jumping out to a 13-point lead early in the second quarter. William Guillory,, "With Jrue Holiday out, Anthony Davis scores 37 to beat Dallas Mavericks," 20 Mar. 2018 Wearing black Converse, jean shorts, and a jacket, her lifeless body is found propped up in an alleyway. Morgan Baila,, "Sharp Objects Premiere Recap: Home Is Where The Murder Is," 9 July 2018 Onfroy was killed instantly; the attackers fled with a Louis Vuitton bag containing a few thousand dollars, while bystanders filmed Onfroy’s lifeless body and posted the footage to social media as emergency vehicle sirens wailed in the background. Dan Rys, Billboard, "Grappling With The Complicated Life and Painful Death of XXXTentacion," 29 June 2018 The squad looked lifeless after his 62nd-minute injury., "Player ratings for FC Cincinnati's 3-3 draw against Toronto FC II," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lifeless.' 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 lifeless

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lifeless

Statistics for lifeless

Last Updated

25 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lifeless

The first known use of lifeless was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for lifeless



English Language Learners Definition of lifeless

: having no living things

: dead or appearing to be dead

: lacking spirit, interest, or energy


life·​less | \ˈlīf-ləs \

Kids Definition of lifeless

1 : having no living things a lifeless planet

2 : dead or appearing to be dead

3 : lacking spirit, interest, or energy a lifeless house

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on lifeless

What made you want to look up lifeless? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


playful or foolish behavior

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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