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

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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

Deputies found the 5-year-old boy’s body Monday night, resting lifeless on the side of a road in Hammond, Louisiana. Jared Gilmour, miamiherald, "Driver struck a 5-year-old — then checked car for damage and drove off, La. cops say | Miami Herald," 8 May 2018 Not long after her lifeless, naked body was found hanging from the second-floor balcony of her boyfriend’s Coronado mansion, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department concluded that Zahau — whose hands were tied behind her back — committed suicide. Chris Harris,, "Police Maintain Calif. Woman Killed Herself — Even as Jury Finds Her Boyfriend's Brother Liable," 5 Apr. 2018 Then, there was a crash, and shellshocked family members saw her lifeless in a pool of blood. Cleve R. Wootson Jr., Washington Post, "‘I just saw blood and the little girl’: 2-year-old at Payless killed by falling mirror," 4 Mar. 2018 Then, there was a crash, and shellshocked family members saw her lifeless in a pool of blood. The Washington Post,, "Falling mirror kills 2-year-old girl at Georgia Payless ShoeSource," 9 May 2017 Salmon turns from silky and succulent and luscious to chalky, bitter, and lifeless in the span of a minute. Gabrielle Hamilton, House Beautiful, "Gabrielle Hamilton's Salmon With Creamy Lemon Rice," 14 Mar. 2012 Those who survive the bombing and its effects will have to walk through burning rubble and pass lifeless, charred bodies to reach safety. Alex Ward, Vox, "This is exactly how a nuclear war would kill you," 19 Oct. 2018 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

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.

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First Known Use of lifeless

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for lifeless

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for lifeless

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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on lifeless

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lifeless

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lifeless

Spanish Central: Translation of lifeless

Nglish: Translation of lifeless for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lifeless for Arabic Speakers

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).


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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