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lukewarm

[look-wawrm]
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adjective
  1. moderately warm; tepid.
  2. having or showing little ardor, zeal, or enthusiasm; indifferent: lukewarm applause.

Origin of lukewarm

1350–1400; Middle English lukewarme tepid, equivalent to luke tepid (unexplained alteration of lew, Old English gehlēow tepid) + warme warm
Related formsluke·warm·ly, adverbluke·warm·ness, luke·warmth, noun

Synonyms

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2. halfhearted, cool, apathetic.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for lukewarm

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Oh, now I see why I thought her affection measured and lukewarm.

  • Have ready some water, rather more than lukewarm, but not hot.

    Culture and Cooking

    Catherine Owen

  • Every hour he had to get up to give the baby spoonfuls of lukewarm sugar and water.

    L'Assommoir

    Emile Zola

  • It should be stirred in thoroughly, but quickly; it must not be too hot, or too cold, but just lukewarm.

    The Skilful Cook

    Mary Harrison

  • Put into lukewarm water, to which has been added one pint of old ale.

    The Skilful Cook

    Mary Harrison


British Dictionary definitions for lukewarm

lukewarm

adjective
  1. (esp of water) moderately warm; tepid
  2. having or expressing little enthusiasm or conviction
Derived Formslukewarmly, adverblukewarmness, noun

Word Origin

C14 luke probably from Old English hlēow warm; compare German lauwarm
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

Word Origin and History for lukewarm

adj.

late 14c., from luke + warm (adj.). Figurative sense of "lacking in zeal" (of persons or their actions) is from 1520s. Related: Lukewarmly; lukewarmness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper