listless

adjective list·less \ ˈlist-ləs \
Updated on: 12 Nov 2017

Definition of listless

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

listlessly

adverb

listlessness

noun

Examples of listless in a Sentence

  1. He became listless, answered in monosyllables, gurgled, drank a great deal of whisky, and looked with hateful eyes at everyone. —Isaiah BerlinNew York Times Book Review12 Apr. 1987
  2. She looked up and saw everyone starting his work. She took out a piece of paper, feeling listless and bored as she did. —Louise FitzhughHarriet the Spy1964
  3. 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 MaughamOf Human Bondage1915
  4. Her pretty face was wan and listless, her hair uncurled—some locks hanging lankly down, and some carelessly twisted round her head. —Emily BrontëWuthering Heights1847
  5. The heat made everyone tired and listless.

  6. The party was a listless affair.

Recent Examples of listless from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of listless

Middle English listles, from 2list — see 2list

Synonym Discussion of 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

LISTLESS Defined for English Language Learners

listless

adjective

Definition of listless for English Language Learners

  • : lacking energy or spirit


LISTLESS Defined for Kids

listless

adjective list·less \ ˈlist-ləs \

Definition of listless for Students

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

listlessly

adverb

listlessness

noun


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