Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

2017 Word of the Year

perfunctory

[per-fuhngk-tuh-ree] /pərˈfʌŋk tə ri/
adjective
1.
performed merely as a routine duty; hasty and superficial:
perfunctory courtesy.
2.
lacking interest, care, or enthusiasm; indifferent or apathetic:
In his lectures he reveals himself to be merely a perfunctory speaker.
Origin of perfunctory
1575-1585
1575-85; < Late Latin perfūnctōrius negligent, superficial, derivative of perfungī to do one's job, be done, equivalent to per- per- + fung-, base of fungī to perform, function + -tōrius -tory1
Related forms
perfunctorily, adverb
perfunctoriness, noun
Synonyms
1, 2. negligent, heedless, thoughtless, uninterested.
Antonyms
1, 2. careful, diligent.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for perfunctorily
Historical Examples
  • Renouard, perfunctorily, did see no reason why he should make a long stay.

    Within the Tides Joseph Conrad
  • He asked where she was going, a conventional question, perfunctorily put.

    The Wrong Woman

    Charles D. Stewart
  • She moved about perfunctorily, with an air of preoccupation.

    Jewel Clara Louise Burnham
  • They tried him, formally if perfunctorily; he admitted his imposture, and begged for his life.

    Northern Lights Gilbert Parker
  • They applauded vociferously but perfunctorily, in order to appear to understand.

    The Octopus Frank Norris
  • He ran, perfunctorily, through all the foolish turnings and windings of the maze.

    The Combined Maze May Sinclair
  • He kissed her perfunctorily, and then turned to his letters.

    The Day of Judgment

    Joseph Hocking
  • She realised, perfunctorily, as the successful do, the blankness of defeat.

    Regiment of Women Clemence Dane
  • "Yes, and you used to be very rude," put in Kent perfunctorily.

    Cynthia Leonard Merrick
  • Yet we had frequent evidence that cases were not dealt with perfunctorily.

    A Civil Servant in Burma Herbert Thirkel White
British Dictionary definitions for perfunctorily

perfunctory

/pəˈfʌŋktərɪ/
adjective
1.
done superficially, only as a matter of routine; careless or cursory
2.
dull or indifferent
Derived Forms
perfunctorily, adverb
perfunctoriness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin perfunctōrius negligent, from perfunctus dispatched, from perfungī to fulfil; see function
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for perfunctorily

perfunctory

adj.

1580s, from Late Latin perfunctorius "careless, negligent," literally "like one who wishes to get through a thing," from Latin perfungus, past participle of perfungi "discharge, busy oneself, get through," from per- "through" + fungi "perform" (see function (n.)). Related: Perfunctorily.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for perfunctorily

Word Value for perfunctorily

0
27
Scrabble Words With Friends