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 of soon grew weary of waiting
4 : wearisome


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

Definition of weary (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to become weary

transitive verb

: to make weary

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Other Words from weary


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

all in, aweary [archaic], beat, beaten, bleary, burned-out (or burnt-out), bushed, dead, done, drained, exhausted, fatigued, jaded, knackered [British], limp, logy (also loggy), played out, pooped [slang], prostrate, spent, tapped out, tired, tuckered (out), washed-out, wearied, wiped out, worn, worn-out

Synonyms: Verb

bore, jade, tire

Antonyms: Adjective


Antonyms: Verb

absorb, busy, engage, engross, enthrall (or enthral), fascinate, grip, interest, intrigue

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Choose the Right Synonym for weary


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


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.


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

Cassandro’s story involves pain and loss, ferocious determination and its price (both physical and mental), a private battle on the public stage, and a weary resignation and admission of defeat at a time of apparent triumph. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "“Cassandro, the Exotico!,” Reviewed: An Intimate Portrait of a Lucha-Libre Star," 19 July 2019 That being said, there was a weary vibe around the Warriors last season because of all the speculation about Durant’s free agency and how that affected team dynamics. Mark Medina, The Mercury News, "Warriors mailbag: Making sense of the Warriors’ free agency moves," 12 July 2019 The critics have weighed in on Jon Favreau's live-action remake of The Lion King, praising Chiwetel Ejiofor's portrayal of the mangy, weary villain, Scar, the film's alignment with the 1994 classic and the realism of the talking animals. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, "'The Lion King': What the Critics Are Saying," 11 July 2019 Like all the roles, the tough, weary Dina is written without showbizzy nonsense, and Kennedy settles in well as Dina acquaints herself with Tewfiq and thinks about her life. Nelson Pressley, Washington Post, "‘The Band’s Visit’ settles in at the Kennedy Center," 11 July 2019 The Statue of Liberty has long been the city’s welcoming beacon—first for weary immigrants, then millions of tourists. Irene Plagianos, WSJ, "Lady Liberty Sparks Battle of the Boat Tours," 6 July 2019 At long last, summer has arrived, and while the bright sunshine and balmier temperatures naturally inject life into weary complexions, there’s no denying that the season ups the ante on maintaining a clear, healthy-looking glow. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "This Supercharged Skin Elixir Is the Ultimate Summer Beauty Hack," 5 July 2019 And there were mock letters from weary Revolutionary War participants dealing with modern-day airport hassles. Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press, "Twitter unleashes on Trump for Revolutionary War 'airport' flub," 5 July 2019 The weary sailors were soon sitting bootless inside a prayer room on Farsi Island. Megan Rose, ProPublica, "Trump Keeps Talking About the Last Military Standoff With Iran — Here’s What Really Happened," 24 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 All of this action can be wearying for even the most committed voter. Philip Elliott, Time, "Joe Biden Is Ahead in the Iowa Polls. But His Rivals Are Ahead on Organizing," 11 June 2019 With the home crowd roaring them on, and with the Warriors wearying, the Raptors finally overcame. Mark Medina, The Mercury News, "Warriors 106, Raptors 105: Kevin Durant’s injury a dark cloud," 10 June 2019 What’s remarkable is that Flanagan, thanks largely to stellar performances from the ensemble, manages to make all this sibling drama feel suspenseful rather than wearying. Aja Romano, Vox, "Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House is a slow-burn family nightmare," 12 Oct. 2018 Increasingly frustrated and wearied by the standoff, New York state governor Nelson Rockefeller — who had never visited the prison grounds — approved a raid to retake Attica by force. Shammara Lawrence, Teen Vogue, "The Attica Prison Riot in 1971 Serves as a Reminder of the Dangers of a Failing Prison System," 13 Sep. 2018 Chicago has been used with wearying regularity by the same president as a symbol of rampant gun violence and hogtied, ineffectual law enforcement. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "A pop-up film festival defines immigrant America — and visits Chicago," 19 Apr. 2018 In recent weeks, an exodus of trusted staff members left Pruitt increasingly isolated, and some Republican lawmakers wearied of defending him. Washington Post, BostonGlobe.com, "Pruitt steps down as EPA head after ethics, management scandals," 6 July 2018 Southgate seemed wearied even by the prospect of a game that means next to nothing. Jonathan Wilson, SI.com, "England's World Cup Run, Southgate Represent More for a Nation in Political Upheaval," 12 July 2018

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


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


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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Statistics for weary

Last Updated

22 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for weary

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

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More Definitions for weary



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



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

somewhat formal : to make (someone) very tired


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


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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with weary

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for weary

Spanish Central: Translation of weary

Nglish: Translation of weary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of weary for Arabic Speakers

Comments on weary

What made you want to look up weary? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to complain fretfully

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