Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[in-dl-uh nt] /ˈɪn dl ənt/
having or showing a disposition to avoid exertion; slothful:
an indolent person.
Pathology. causing little or no pain; inactive or relatively benign:
an indolent ulcer that is not painful and is slow to heal.
Origin of indolent
1655-65; < Latin indolent- (stem of indolēns), equivalent to in- in-3 + dolent- (stem of dolēns) present participle of dolēre to be pain-ful, be in pain; see dole2, -ent
Related forms
indolently, adverb
1. slow, inactive, sluggish, torpid. See idle. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for indolent
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In his indolent, rather selfish way, he was much in love with his wife.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • And he was also indolent, with the indolence which is so often the secret of good nature.

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
  • I also was too indolent--truly, not figuratively; the book was never written.

    In the Valley Harold Frederic
  • None but the frivolous or the indolent will say, “I am too old to learn.”

    Self-Help Samuel Smiles
  • All at once, his mind had become too indolent to do any more thinking.

    The Market-Place Harold Frederic
British Dictionary definitions for indolent


disliking work or effort; lazy; idle
(pathol) causing little pain: an indolent tumour
(esp of a painless ulcer) slow to heal
Derived Forms
indolence, noun
indolently, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Latin indolēns not feeling pain, from in-1 + dolēns, from dolēre to grieve, cause distress
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for indolent

1660s, "painless," from Late Latin indolentem (see indolence). Sense of "living easily" is 1710, from French indolent. Related: Indolently.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
indolent in Medicine

indolent in·do·lent (ĭn'də-lənt)

  1. Disinclined to exert oneself; habitually lazy.

  2. Causing little or no pain, as a tumor.

  3. Slow to heal, grow, or develop, as an ulcer; inactive.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for indolent

Word Value for indolent

Scrabble Words With Friends