spir·​it·​less ˈspir-ət-ləs How to pronounce spiritless (audio)
: lacking animation, cheerfulness, or courage
spiritlessly adverb
spiritlessness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for spiritless

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 spiritless in a Sentence

he was spiritless and depressed for weeks after being fired
Recent Examples on the Web Yet the club dropped the contest in spiritless fashion, 6-2. Julian McWilliams, BostonGlobe.com, 12 Aug. 2023 Lil Wayne is not tolerating spiritless crowds at his shows. Daniela Avila, Peoplemag, 15 May 2023 The studio setup looks familiar, but the operation itself is spiritless, bearing more resemblance to CNBC’s coverage of the stock market than to the typical sports show, whose belligerent repartee is familiar to anyone who has ever watched a game with friends. New York Times, 27 Apr. 2022 That hotel, which opened about a year ago, serves a drink called a Bee’s Knees with a Twist, which costs $19 and includes spiritless gin, lime and honey (cocktails with alcohol range from $21 to $28). Alyson Krueger, New York Times, 5 Jan. 2023 Hampered by a spare and spiritless screenplay, Smith gives a performance marked by facial expressions, physical movement and a Haitian accent that struggles to shake its studied quality. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 30 Nov. 2022 This coming holiday season, many glasses raised in Hollywood may be filled with spiritless spirits. Ingrid Schmidt, The Hollywood Reporter, 12 Nov. 2022 Fall menu items include libations like the Hummingbird with tennyson black ginger and the Devil Mountain with a spiritless Kentucky 74. Amelia Arvesen, Outside Online, 26 Oct. 2022 Another theme is a reenchantment of our spiritless world to arrest the political and ecological crises that empire and patriarchy have reportedly consigned to us. New York Times, 30 Apr. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'spiritless.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1592, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of spiritless was in 1592

Dictionary Entries Near spiritless

Cite this Entry

“Spiritless.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spiritless. Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


spir·​it·​less ˈspir-ət-ləs How to pronounce spiritless (audio)
: lacking courage or energy
spiritlessly adverb
spiritlessness noun

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