- performed merely as a routine duty; hasty and superficial: perfunctory courtesy.
- lacking interest, care, or enthusiasm; indifferent or apathetic: In his lectures he reveals himself to be merely a perfunctory speaker.
Origin of perfunctory
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for perfunctory
Ronaldo also does more than the perfunctory share of philanthropy that we expect from our athletic superstars.Why It’s Still OK to Hate Sexy Bastard Cristiano Ronaldo After He Saved Team USA
June 26, 2014
Frank Sinatra, who might have made a perfect Sky Masterson, made a perfunctory Nathan Detroit.New York’s Greatest Show Or How They Did Not Screw Up ‘Guys and Dolls’
April 6, 2014
The debt-ceiling authorization has historically been a perfunctory mechanism.Never Mind Obamacare. Worry About the Debt Ceiling.
William L. McComb
October 1, 2013
It was unusual for Doc to be so perfunctory, but on this particular subject he was sticking to just the facts.The Myths of Matthew Shepard’s Infamous Death
September 22, 2013
Spitzer rolled his eyes at the interruption, grumbling a perfunctory “very funny.”Eliot Spitzer Mobbed by Press, Heckled at First Campaign Stop
July 9, 2013
She began to fry her pork and apples, with a perfunctory attempt at conversation.Tiverton Tales
He fell to them with only a perfunctory acknowledgment of my agency in procuring them.Ruggles of Red Gap
Harry Leon Wilson
The tone of the question revealed its perfunctory character.The Market-Place
Teaching "at" these things in a dull, perfunctory way will do no good.Rural Life and the Rural School
He thought it best to give a perfunctory grunt and hope Jeff would go on.The Prisoner
- done superficially, only as a matter of routine; careless or cursory
- dull or indifferent
Word Origin and History for perfunctory
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.