perfunctory was our Word of the Day on 08/16/2017. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of perfunctory in a Sentence
- The eight-time Pro Bowl player sometimes goes several weeks without agreeing to do even the most perfunctory postgame interviews. —Nunyo Demasio, Sports Illustrated, 8 Jan. 2007
- Convivial and self-absorbed, he talks freely about crime and crooks, with only the most perfunctory nods toward conventional morality. —Edward Dolnick, The Rescue Artist, 2005
- You probably don't want to know how perfunctory was the presentation of the state's evidence, how tenth-rate was the performance of the court-appointed defense or how wretched was the end. —Christopher Hitchens, Nation, 23-30 Aug. 1999
the violinist delivered a perfunctory performance that displayed none of the passion and warmth he was once known for
Recent Examples of perfunctory from the Web
The athlete wandered up and gave a perfunctory sniff of hello to a stranger, then wandered away again.
And while the writers tried to surprise us with a showy (but not shocking) ending, overall the episode felt a bit perfunctory, as a table-setter for next week's finale rather than crafting its own story.
The perfunctory ask for a postgame interview was being granted.
While the first half of the film is a petty perfunctory rehash of 1997’s The Lost World, with poachers rounding up dinosaurs for profit and a little bit of sport, the second half of Fallen Kingdom does something nifty.
Nights like Game 2 may be how this Golden State era is remembered, but at least this year, most Warriors wins have been more perfunctory than perfect.
The proceedings, during which delegates from across the state met at Hofstra University, were largely perfunctory.
The theatrical effect seems designed for social media, where sharing gender-reveal videos is practically perfunctory.
The employee, who asked to remain anonymous to describe confidential internal matters, added that the inquiry appeared to be perfunctory.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'perfunctory.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Perfunctory is a word whose origins are found entirely in Latin. First appearing in English in the late 16th century, it derives via the Late Latin perfunctorius, meaning "done in a careless or superficial manner," from the Latin perfungi, meaning "to accomplish" or "to get through with." That verb is formed by combining the prefix per-, meaning "through," with the verb fungi, meaning "to perform." "Fungi" can be found in the roots of such words as "function," "defunct," and "fungible." "Perfunctory" can describe something that is carried out with little effort or care, as in "He did a perfunctory job raking the leaves," but when used to describe a person it usually means "lacking enthusiasm."
PERFUNCTORY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of perfunctory for English Language Learners
—used to describe something that is done without energy or enthusiasm because of habit or because it is expected
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