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


wearied; wearying

Definition of weary (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to become weary

transitive verb

: to make weary

Other Words from weary


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

Synonyms & Antonyms for weary

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective For one, President Biden must now convince an inflation-weary public that a slowing economy is actually a good thing, Politico notes. Brigid Kennedy, The Week, 4 June 2022 The moves are driven by a mix of medical advice, economic pressures and the sentiment of a pandemic-weary public that enough is enough. New York Times, 23 Mar. 2022 But Biden’s first-year agenda remains incomplete, to the frustration of his aides, Democratic activists and a weary public. Los Angeles Times, 19 Jan. 2022 Four months into this strange new school year, there is a mix of cautious optimism and weary resignation as parents look ahead. Washington Post, 28 Dec. 2021 The news came just as Bay Area businesses were bracing — with weary resignation — for a return of masking following the state’s announcement of a new indoor mandate Monday. Ryan Kost, Chase Difeliciantonio By, San Francisco Chronicle, 14 Dec. 2021 It’s a classic mismatched pairing, especially since Kate’s unbridled enthusiasm for saving the day is paralleled by Clint’s world weary resignation with being an Avengers B-lister. Adam B. Vary, Variety, 23 Nov. 2021 Marvin Miller, president of the Jewish Federation of Volusia & Flagler Counties, expressed weary resignation about the items’ sale. sun-sentinel.com, 18 Oct. 2021 Marvin Miller, president of the Jewish Federation of Volusia & Flagler Counties, expressed weary resignation about the items’ sale. orlandosentinel.com, 16 Oct. 2021 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, 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, 30 Mar. 2020 Unique pressures If the occasional flight is wearying, imagine the exhaustion of doing it for a living. Natasha Frost, Quartz, 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, 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, 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, 13 Jan. 2020 Others face eviction threats from landlords who have wearied of the police showing up. Anne Deprince, The Conversation, 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, 23 May 2019 See More

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.

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

Learn More About weary

Time Traveler for weary

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near weary

wear well


weary of

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for weary

Last Updated

11 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Weary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/weary. Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for weary


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

More from Merriam-Webster on weary

Nglish: Translation of weary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of weary for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!