list·​less | \ ˈlist-ləs How to pronounce listless (audio) \

Definition of listless

: characterized by lack of interest, energy, or spirit a listless melancholy attitude

Other Words from listless

listlessly adverb
listlessness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for listless

languid, languorous, lackadaisical, listless, spiritless mean lacking energy or enthusiasm. languid refers to an unwillingness or inability to exert oneself due to fatigue or physical weakness. was depressed and languid for weeks after surgery languorous suggests a dreamy boredom and delicacy that avoids unnecessary activity. languorous cats lying in the sun lackadaisical implies a carefree indifference marked by half-hearted efforts. lackadaisical college seniors pretending to study listless suggests a lack of interest caused by physical weakness or dissatisfied boredom. listless hospital patients listless children flipping through picture books on a rainy day spiritless refers to a lack of animation or vigor that gives one's actions and words life. a spiritless recital of the poem

Examples of listless in a Sentence

He became listless, answered in monosyllables, gurgled, drank a great deal of whisky, and looked with hateful eyes at everyone. — Isaiah Berlin, New York Times Book Review, 12 Apr. 1987 She looked up and saw everyone starting his work. She took out a piece of paper, feeling listless and bored as she did. — Louise Fitzhugh, Harriet the Spy, 1964 His blue eyes had lost their colour; they had a listless droop; and his mouth, losing the fulness of youth, was weak and pale. — W. Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage, 1915 Her pretty face was wan and listless, her hair uncurled—some locks hanging lankly down, and some carelessly twisted round her head. — Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights, 1847 The heat made everyone tired and listless. The party was a listless affair.
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Recent Examples on the Web UMass and UConn were both near the bottom of 130 FBS teams in nearly every statistical category, but Spanos, among others, had to miss the game due to COVID-19 and UConn was listless in a 27-13 loss. Dom Amore,, 28 Nov. 2021 Another big reason for the spinoffs: GE’s listless stock price. Globe Staff,, 9 Nov. 2021 Even the moments surrounding de Gaulle’s family’s perilous escape from the Germans — scenes that should prompt some excitement in the audience — feel uninteresting and listless in tone and execution. Tomris Laffly, Variety, 19 Oct. 2021 Tennessee responded quickly after a listless 3-and-out to open the game. Michael Casagrande |, al, 23 Oct. 2021 Critics say that system has cemented a corrupt, listless leadership in place. Los Angeles Times, 19 Oct. 2021 Now, as the season draws to a close, the Padres look listless. Bernie Pleskoff, Forbes, 29 Sep. 2021 Bronco Billy, about a listless New Jersey shoe salesman, drunk on Western romance, who recasts himself as the leader of a touring Wild West show. John Semley, The New Republic, 23 Sep. 2021 In their second game without Brandon Belt, the team’s hottest hitter, the Giants were fairly listless offensively, with the exception of Buster Posey, who reached base four times. Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle, 29 Sep. 2021

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for listless

Middle English listles, from list entry 2

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Time Traveler for listless

Time Traveler

The first known use of listless was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near listless



list price

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Statistics for listless

Last Updated

2 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Listless.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for listless



English Language Learners Definition of listless

: lacking energy or spirit


list·​less | \ ˈlist-ləs How to pronounce listless (audio) \

Kids Definition of listless

: too tired or too little interested to want to do things

Other Words from listless

listlessly adverb
listlessness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on listless

Nglish: Translation of listless for Spanish Speakers


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