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[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.
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Examples from the Web for indolently
Historical Examples
  • She stood there indolently, disdainful of the cannon that was aimed at her.

    Highways in Hiding George Oliver Smith
  • This, too, did not seem important, and he indolently closed his eyes again.

  • Outstretched at 24 his feet lay Jim, indolently snapping at flies.

    Jim Charles G. D. Roberts
  • Personal interests may be indolently neglected or carelessly pursued.

    Calvert and Penn Brantz Mayer
  • "I'll write it out for you, if you like," said Rosamond, indolently.

    Kidnapped at the Altar

    Laura Jean Libbey
  • Few birds care to take life so easily, not to say indolently.

    Bird Neighbors Neltje Blanchan
  • indolently stretched upon a cushion at her feet he chatted with her.

  • Their motion was so indolently graceful that I could not help gazing at them.

  • indolently the Prince watched him as he peered all over the café, out on the terrace.

    Visionaries James Huneker
  • "Y'u're drawing the dead-line," the other acknowledged, indolently.

    Wyoming, a Story of the Outdoor West William MacLeod Raine
British Dictionary definitions for indolently


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
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Word Origin and History for indolently



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
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indolently 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.
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