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[look-wawrm] /ˈlukˈwɔrm/
moderately warm; tepid.
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 forms
lukewarmly, adverb
lukewarmness, lukewarmth, noun
2. halfhearted, cool, apathetic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for lukewarm
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Oh, now I see why I thought her affection measured and lukewarm.

    Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • 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


(esp of water) moderately warm; tepid
having or expressing little enthusiasm or conviction
Derived Forms
lukewarmly, adverb
lukewarmness, 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
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Word Origin and History for lukewarm

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
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