weary

adjective
wea·ry | \ˈwir-ē \
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

weary

verb
wea·ry | \ˈwir-ē \
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

Adjective

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

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

Get our daily newsletter To Sahel and back War-weary Western voters have little appetite for fresh entanglements in distant conflicts. The Economist, "Jihadists are trying to take over the Sahel," 12 July 2018 The United States, which works closely with Mexican law enforcement in its fight against drug cartels, is weary of a softening of Mexico’s security policies. Shelby Grad, latimes.com, "Essential California: The drug war implications of Mexico going to the polls," 30 June 2018 The park has five campgrounds (from $15), and the Stargazer Inn, five miles away in Baker, has ten rooms (from $75) and an accompanying restaurant called Kerouac’s, which opened in 2017 as a welcome pit stop for weary travelers. Megan Michelson, Outside Online, "6 Under-the-Radar National Parks You Should Visit," 20 June 2018 Argentines are weary of austerity and are unlikely to thank Mr Macri for providing them with more of it, particularly at the behest of the IMF. The Economist, "The IMF hands Mauricio Macri a vote of confidence," 8 June 2018 With Carmen Salinas, especially good as a world-weary landlady. Patrick Friel, Chicago Reader, "Dance / Film / Foreign / Gender Issues / Moviegoing / Old Movies to Watch Now / On Video Five classic films by Latin American women," 17 Apr. 2018 Parents who grow weary of their kids bugging them for more tokens to play games at Chuck E. Cheese's pizza parlors are about to get a break. Dalvin Brown, USA TODAY, "Chuck E. Cheese's launches unlimited gaming option," 11 July 2018 Arpaio also sought to reassure voters who are weary about his lack of legislative experience. Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, azcentral, "At 86, Joe Arpaio's Senate run worries GOP voters. His response: Age doesn’t mean anything," 6 July 2018 The fact the world-weary couple get a break from their children is both funny and a nice wink to the parents in the audience. Rick Bentley, chicagotribune.com, "'Hotel Transylvania 3' review: Monsters aboard the Love Boat," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 There are signs that San Franciscans, once eager to download the latest app and try the latest gadget, are wearying of their role as Silicon Valley’s lab rats. Trisha Thadani, San Francisco Chronicle, "London Breed as mayor has the tech industry excited. Will it last?," 15 June 2018 Copper, granite, concrete and marble are slaking people’s thirst for interiors that don’t look like wearying generic condos. Catherine Romano, WSJ, "Kitchen Sinks Go Luxe: So Long Stainless Steel," 1 June 2018 But the endless revelations that have emerged since October about abusive men in the entertainment industry and beyond have felt wearying in their range and detail. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Handmaid's Tale and the Suffering of Women," 25 Apr. 2018 In practice the constant embellishment and novelty can be wearying, especially at series length. Mike Hale, New York Times, "Review: ‘Legion’ Resumes. Hold On to Your Brain.," 2 Apr. 2018 Some of those former tenants have opened in locations spanning from Florida Mall to Oviedo, both bolstered and wearied by their experiences at Artegon. Kyle Arnold, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Losing their home couldn't stop many former Artegon shops," 2 Apr. 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

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

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

Verb

see weary entry 1

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Phrases Related to weary

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Statistics for weary

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for weary

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

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More Definitions for weary

weary

adjective

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

: causing you to feel tired

weary

verb

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

: to make (someone) very tired

weary

adjective
wea·ry | \ˈwir-ē \
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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Comments on weary

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