1

weary

play
adjective wea·ry \ˈwir-ē\

Definition of weary

wearier

weariest

  1. 1 :  exhausted in strength, endurance, vigor, or freshness

  2. 2 :  expressing or characteristic of weariness <a weary sign>

  3. 3 :  having one's patience, tolerance, or pleasure exhausted —used with of <soon grew weary of waiting>

  4. 4 :  wearisome

wearily

play \ˈwir-ə-lē\ adverb

weariness

play \ˈwir-ē-nəs\ noun

Examples of weary in a sentence

  1. I would remember the potential for return, all things circling as they do, into something like fullness, small moments of completion that weave together, like Penelope's cloth, doing and undoing themselves by turns, an unfinished pattern that guides a —wearytraveler home … —Paul Sorrell, Parabola, May 2000

  2. But for the wilted weeds that managed to jut forth in wiry clumps where the mortar was cracked and washed away, the viaduct wall was barren of everything except the affirmation of a weary industrial city's prolonged and triumphant struggle to monumentalize its ugliness. —Philip Roth, American Pastoral, 1997

  3. Every day for a week Ellsworth showed up to see Clarence and every day Miss Eunice and Mr. George Edward would exchange weary glances and shrugs … —Randall Kenan, Let the Dead Bury Their Dead, 1992

  4. I need to rest my weary eyes.

  5. The miners were weary after a long shift.

  6. She was weary from years of housework.

Sick and Tired: the Literal and Figurative Meanings of lassitude

Lassitude and weariness make an interesting pair. As with many nearly synonymous pairs of words in English, one is derived from Latin and the other from Old English. Even though they both mean “the condition of being tired,” they are used in different ways. Following a common pattern, the Latinate word tends to be used in technical, medical, and formal writing, and the Old English-derived word is used when referring to physical, emotional, and spiritual qualities.

Lassitude comes from the Latin word lassus, meaning “weary.” Our English spelling comes from the French word that developed directly from Latin, borrowed in the 15th century. In French, the word las (masculine) or lasse (feminine) means “weary” or “tired,” and the idiom être las de means “to be sick and tired of.” This led to another English word with the same root: alas, a word that expresses sadness or disappointment, but conveys some measure of fatigue and resignation as well.

Though it sometimes is just a fancy word for fatigue in medical contexts, lassitude is also used in ways that are metaphorical and closer in meaning to “negligence”:

Congress was being choked by pettiness and lassitude.

The case was delayed because of sheer lassitude.

The failure was the result of moral lassitude.

Origin and Etymology of weary

Middle English wery, from Old English wērig; akin to Old High German wuorag intoxicated and perhaps to Greek aōros sleep


First Known Use: before 12th century


2

weary

play
verb wea·ry \ˈwir-ē\

Definition of weary

wearied

wearying

  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to become weary (see 1weary)

  3. transitive verb
  4. :  to make weary

Examples of weary in a sentence

  1. What wearies me about Dickens, however, is his excessive use of words. —Will Manley, Booklist, 1 Nov. 2006

  2. Does it weary me to find some women of the next generation reinventing the wheel when it comes to planning their lives and dreaming of their romantic futures? —Margo Jefferson, New York Times Book Review, 15 Apr. 2001

  3. I doubted what Indonesia now had to offer and wearied of being new all over again. —Barack Obama, Dreams from My Father, (1995) 2004

  4. The work wearies me sometimes.

  5. <these constant complaints are really wearying me>

Origin and Etymology of weary

(see 1weary)


First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of weary

tire, weary, fatigue, exhaust, jade, fag mean to make or become unable or unwilling to continue. tire implies a draining of one's strength or patience <the long ride tired us out>. weary stresses tiring until one is unable to endure more of the same thing <wearied of the constant arguing>. fatigue suggests great lassitude from excessive strain or undue effort <fatigued by the day's chores>. exhaust implies complete draining of strength by hard exertion <shoveling snow exhausted him>. jade suggests the loss of all freshness and eagerness <appetites jaded by overindulgence>. fag implies a drooping with fatigue <shoppers all fagged out by the Christmas rush>.


WEARY Defined for English Language Learners

1

weary

play
adjective wea·ry \ˈwir-ē\

Definition of weary for English Language Learners

  • : lacking strength, energy, or freshness because of a need for rest or sleep

  • : bored or annoyed by something because you have seen it, heard it, done it, etc., many times or for a long time

  • : causing you to feel tired


2

weary

play
verb wea·ry \ˈwir-ē\

Definition of weary for English Language Learners

  • : to make (someone) very tired


WEARY Defined for Kids

1

weary

play
adjective wea·ry \ˈwir-ē\

Definition of weary for Students

wearier

weariest

  1. 1 :  having lost strength, energy, or freshness :  tired <weary eyes>

  2. 2 :  having lost patience, pleasure, or interest <I'm growing weary of their quarreling.>

  3. 3 :  causing a loss of strength or interest <the weary hours>

wearily

\ˈwir-ə-lē\ adverb

weariness

\ˈwir-ē-nəs\ noun

2

weary

play
verb wea·ry

Definition of weary for Students

wearied

wearying

  1. :  to make or become weary



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