life·​less ˈlīf-ləs How to pronounce lifeless (audio)
: having no life:
: dead
: lacking qualities expressive of life and vigor : insipid
: destitute of living beings
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 The photos, along with personal accounts describing young children’s lifeless bodies, echo descriptions provided 11 years earlier by witnesses at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Arelis R. Hernández, Washington Post, 15 Nov. 2023 Ordinarily, nothing seems more lifeless than a puppet without a puppeteer. Laura Collins-Hughes, New York Times, 8 Nov. 2023 In years past, this would have led to a somewhat lifeless ceremony. Andy Greene, Rolling Stone, 4 Nov. 2023 Most scientists think that Mars is lifeless now—although a few argue that life could be sheltering underground—but no one can say for sure whether the Red Planet could have also been a teeming one. Shi En Kim, Smithsonian Magazine, 18 Oct. 2023 Such collaborations tend to be respectful, reasonably successful, and positively reviewed, but there often is, nonetheless, something unnervingly lifeless about them. Kristen Roupenian, The New Yorker, 16 Oct. 2023 But that’s no smoking gun: Carbon and methane could just as well be produced by a lifeless, volcanically active world. WIRED, 2 Oct. 2023 The camera pans wildly, showing the chilling and frantic first-person view of a first responder searching for survivors, any survivor among a sea of lifeless, bloodied bodies after Hamas' brutal attack last month on the Supernova music festival in the Negev desert in southern Israel. Becky Perlow, ABC News, 8 Nov. 2023 The death by suicide of a Florida woman triggered a wellness check on her 5-year-old twins, whose lifeless bodies were discovered Friday at home in an apparent homicide. Dennis Romero, NBC News, 21 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lifeless.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near lifeless

Cite this Entry

“Lifeless.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


life·​less ˈlī-fləs How to pronounce lifeless (audio)
: having no life
lifelessly adverb
lifelessness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on lifeless

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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