weary

adjective
wea·​ry | \ ˈwir-ē How to pronounce weary (audio) \
wearier; weariest

Definition of weary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : exhausted in strength, endurance, vigor, or freshness
2 : expressing or characteristic of weariness a weary sign
3 : having one's patience, tolerance, or pleasure exhausted used with ofsoon grew weary of waiting

weary

verb
wea·​ry | \ ˈwir-ē How to pronounce weary (audio) \
wearied; wearying

Definition of weary (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to make weary

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Other Words from weary

Adjective

wearily \ ˈwir-​ə-​lē How to pronounce wearily (audio) \ adverb
weariness \ ˈwir-​ē-​nəs How to pronounce weariness (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for weary

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for weary

Verb

tire, weary, fatigue, exhaust, jade 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

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.

Examples of weary in a Sentence

Adjective 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 weary traveler home … — Paul Sorrell, Parabola, May 2000 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 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 I need to rest my weary eyes. The miners were weary after a long shift. She was weary from years of housework. Verb What wearies me about Dickens, however, is his excessive use of words. — Will Manley, Booklist, 1 Nov. 2006 I doubted what Indonesia now had to offer and wearied of being new all over again. — Barack Obama, Dreams from My Father, (1995) 2004 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 The work wearies me sometimes. these constant complaints are really wearying me
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective While English Victorian poets like Tennyson and Browning were sounding a weary and self-conscious note, their Russian counterparts were still within view of their poetry’s beginnings, and their engagement with its formal devices remained fresh. Ann Kjellberg, The New York Review of Books, "Beyond Meaning: Joseph Brodsky’s Poetry of Exile," 11 May 2020 People weary of schools and businesses across the state being closed because of the new coronavirus were going to call for closures to be lifted and the state to be reopened. Richard Ruelas, azcentral, "She's the ICU nurse who silently stood in protest at the Phoenix rally to reopen Arizona," 21 Apr. 2020 Around the back, weary-looking Catholic Charities staff help pack food — heads of cabbage and DiGiorno pizzas — into paper bags for elderly women lined up with folding shopping carts. Ginger Christ, cleveland, "A tough life made harder: Coronavirus shutdowns limit options for Cleveland’s homeless," 21 Mar. 2020 On arrival, a weary-looking Mr Sentsov urged the new Ukrainian government to work towards freeing the dozens of other Ukrainians still held in Russian jails. The Economist, "Ukraine and Russia exchange prisoners in a modest step towards peace," 7 Sep. 2019 By late January, many San Franciscans had grown weary of the impositions and turned out to the Anti-Mask League meeting to make that fact clear. Nancy Bristow, Time, "Loosening Public-Health Restrictions Too Early Can Cost Lives. Just Look What Happened During the 1918 Flu Pandemic," 1 May 2020 Read more: Still, many Michiganders are weary and just want answers. Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan unemployment website crashes again, delaying state update on expanded benefits," 13 Apr. 2020 Fans seem both weary and wary of the club after the Offseason of Discontent. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "Air of uncertainty hovers over Red Sox camp in Florida," 26 Feb. 2020 Not as an intellectual matter, but as a love story, as a real, palpable, passionate truth, learned by hearts often weary and broken, but open to the kind of healing that hope brings. Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review, "Sister Calling My Name May Just Restore Your Hope for Humanity," 3 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Yet the movie’s rare skirmishes feel authentically battle-wearied and handicapped by conscience. Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times, "‘Robert the Bruce’ Review: The Return of the King," 23 Apr. 2020 How would 6% be for a start Several pages of this is charming; forty years’ worth would have been wearying. Sheila Heti, The New Yorker, "Inside Tove Jansson’s Private Universe," 30 Mar. 2020 Unique pressures If the occasional flight is wearying, imagine the exhaustion of doing it for a living. Natasha Frost, Quartz, "“A lot of us are suffering”: The dark side of the flight attendant lifestyle," 27 Feb. 2020 Freedom from responsibility, after all, is the fantasy of a world-wearied adult, not of a teenager, who longs for nothing more than to be trusted to make decisions for herself. Ruth Franklin, The New York Review of Books, "L’Engle’s Cosmic Catechism," 25 Feb. 2020 While an understandable choice, the approach becomes wearying: A few more notes of sincerity would have better served the play. Celia Wren, Washington Post, "Bravo for reviving the play that scandalized Jane Austen’s world," 11 Nov. 2019 Following that important thread through the next two hours was wearying, particularly once it was subsumed under questions about bathrooms. Melissa Gira Grant, The New Republic, "Culture War in the Workplace," 13 Jan. 2020 Others face eviction threats from landlords who have wearied of the police showing up. Anne Deprince, The Conversation, "Don’t make intimate violence victims look for help – research shows they fare better when police and community organizations coordinate assistance," 1 Nov. 2019 Chekhov, whose plays hardly seem to coerce life at all, boldly broke ranks with this wearying regimentation. The New York Review of Books, "Giles Harvey," 23 May 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'weary.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of weary

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for weary

Adjective and Verb

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

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Time Traveler for weary

Time Traveler

The first known use of weary was before the 12th century

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Statistics for weary

Last Updated

26 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Weary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/weary. Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for weary

weary

adjective
How to pronounce weary (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of weary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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
literary : causing you to feel tired

weary

verb
How to pronounce weary (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of weary (Entry 2 of 2)

somewhat formal : to make (someone) very tired

weary

adjective
wea·​ry | \ ˈwir-ē How to pronounce weary (audio) \
wearier; weariest

Kids Definition of weary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having lost strength, energy, or freshness : tired weary eyes
2 : having lost patience, pleasure, or interest I'm growing weary of their quarreling.
3 : causing a loss of strength or interest the weary hours

Other Words from weary

wearily \ ˈwir-​ə-​lē \ adverb
weariness \ ˈwir-​ē-​nəs \ noun

weary

verb
wearied; wearying

Kids Definition of weary (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make or become weary

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More from Merriam-Webster on weary

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for weary

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with weary

Spanish Central: Translation of weary

Nglish: Translation of weary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of weary for Arabic Speakers

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