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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for listlessly
Historical Examples
  • "Does beat all how she kin do it," thought Wade, listlessly.

    Dust Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
  • "I should be very glad to make you a present of them, Cousin Gussie," he said, listlessly.

    Galusha the Magnificent Joseph C. Lincoln
  • "No—I don't remember ever having said that to myself," she admitted, listlessly.

    The Market-Place Harold Frederic
  • "I daresay they're quite right," Lady Cressage replied, listlessly.

    The Market-Place Harold Frederic
  • "Yes—I'm very fit—thanks," Thorpe said, listlessly, and the other left him.

    The Market-Place Harold Frederic
  • "Give her a Napoleon," said he, listlessly, and turned away.

    The Daltons, Volume II (of II) Charles James Lever
  • She nodded assent, listlessly, evidently preoccupied with something else.

    The Crimson Tide Robert W. Chambers
  • "There were," Miles replied, listlessly, and intent on his own troubles.

  • She had taken up her painting, only to put it listlessly to one side.

    The Dragon Painter

    Mary McNeil Fenollosa
  • "I think I'm not feeling very strong, Mr. Carder," she said listlessly.

    In Apple-Blossom Time

    Clara Louise Burnham
British Dictionary definitions for listlessly


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 listlessly

having no inclination or spirit; characterized by unwillingingness to exert

Word Origin

Middle English list 'desire' + less's 21st Century Lexicon
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Word Origin and History for listlessly



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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