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
Most of the time, people have perfunctory attitudes about youth and their future.
After a few perfunctory words about Wynn’s commitment to diversity and equality, Mr. Maddox quickly moved on to touting the company’s stellar assets.
But critics say the perfunctory trials in special counterterrorism courts are sweeping up bystanders and relatives as well as fighters, and executing most of them in a process more concerned with retribution than justice.
More recently, Microsoft staff have used the term Windows 10 April 2018 Update, which is much more perfunctory.
Getting rid of Joel is a bit of business so essential to the plot, it is performed in the most perfunctory way possible.
Nothing about this design is superfluous or perfunctory.
The Hawks increased their lead to 56-43 by halftime and led by as many as 15 before the Magic got some garbage points in the end to make the game appear closer in a perfunctory glance at the box score.
Kalder waits until the very end, past sometimes perfunctory synopses of other writers and regimes, to get to Turkmenistan, where his prose becomes suddenly luminous, elegiac, and even moving.
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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