Definition of luftmensch
: an impractical contemplative person having no definite business or income
Did You Know?
Are you someone who always seems to have your head in the clouds? Do you have trouble getting down to the lowly business of earning a living? If so, you may deserve to be labeled a "luftmensch." That airy appellation is an adaptation of the Yiddish "luftmentsh," which breaks down into "luft" (a Germanic root meaning "air" that is also related to the English words "loft" and "lofty") plus mentsh, meaning "human being." "Luftmensch" was first introduced to English prose in 1907, when Israel Zangwill wrote, "The word 'Luftmensch' flew into Barstein's mind. Nehemiah was not an earth-man. . .. He was an air-man, floating on facile wings."
Origin and Etymology of luftmensch
Yiddish luftmentsh, from luft air + mentsh human being
First Known Use: 1907
Learn More about luftmensch
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up luftmensch? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).