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restless

[rest-lis]
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adjective
  1. characterized by or showing inability to remain at rest: a restless mood.
  2. unquiet or uneasy, as a person, the mind, or the heart.
  3. never at rest; perpetually agitated or in motion: the restless sea.
  4. without rest; without restful sleep: a restless night.
  5. unceasingly active; averse to quiet or inaction, as persons: a restless crowd.

Origin of restless

before 1000; Middle English restles, Old English restlēas. See rest1, -less
Related formsrest·less·ly, adverbrest·less·ness, noun

Synonyms

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1–3. restive, agitated, fretful.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for restlessly

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • After Dan's departure in the sleigh, Tom wandered about restlessly.

  • Alexander moved about restlessly and fell to poking the fire.

    Alexander's Bridge and The Barrel Organ

    Willa Cather and Alfred Noyes

  • As he was at his ordinary daily work his mind was restlessly busy.

    Bunyan

    James Anthony Froude

  • "It must have been plenty far away," said Calhoun restlessly.

    Pariah Planet

    Murray Leinster

  • "I don't understand a word—not a syllable," said Garrison restlessly.

    Garrison's Finish

    W. B. M. Ferguson


British Dictionary definitions for restlessly

restless

adjective
  1. unable to stay still or quiet
  2. ceaselessly active or movingthe restless wind
  3. worried; anxious; uneasy
  4. not restful; without reposea restless night
Derived Formsrestlessly, adverbrestlessness, noun
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 restlessly

restless

adj.

late 14c., from rest (n.1) + -less. A general Germanic compound (cf. Frisian restleas, Dutch rusteloos, German rastlos, Danish rastlös). Meaning "stirring constantly, desirous of action" is attested from late 15c. Related: Restlessly; restlessness. Old English had restleas "deprived of sleep."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper