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[list-lis] /ˈlɪst lɪs/
having or showing little or no interest in anything; languid; spiritless; indifferent:
a listless mood; a listless handshake.
Origin of listless
late Middle English
First recorded in 1400-50, listless is from the late Middle English word lystles. See list4, -less
Related forms
listlessly, adverb
listlessness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for listless
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • His heart no longer thumped—it was throbbing in a tired, listless fashion.

    Chip, of the Flying U B. M. Bower
  • She shook violently for a while before she answered in a listless voice.

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
  • Eventually, however, she lapsed into a sort of listless immobility.

    Cleo The Magnificent

    Louis Zangwill
  • "Then I've missed them," said Rotha, sinking into a chair in a listless attitude.

  • There was a listless melancholy, a lonely weariness in his look and movements.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine
  • He dropped with a listless weariness into the chair that Greta drew up to the fire.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine
British Dictionary definitions for listless


disinclined for any effort or exertion; lacking vigour, enthusiasm, or energy
Derived Forms
listlessly, adverb
listlessness, noun
Word Origin
C15: from list desire + -less
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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Contemporary definitions for listless

having no inclination or spirit; characterized by unwillingingness to exert

Word Origin

Middle English list 'desire' + less's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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Word Origin and History for listless

mid-15c., from Middle English liste "pleasure, joy, delight" (see list (v.4)) + -less. Related: Listlessly; listlessness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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