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shiftless

[shift-lis] /ˈʃɪft lɪs/
adjective
1.
lacking in resourcefulness; inefficient; lazy.
2.
lacking in incentive, ambition, or aspiration.
Origin of shiftless
1555-1565
First recorded in 1555-65; shift + -less
Related forms
shiftlessly, adverb
shiftlessness, noun
Synonyms
1. slothful, careless, indolent.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for shiftlessness
Historical Examples
  • He cannot be severely censured when their shiftlessness is borne in mind.

    Mary Wollstonecraft Elizabeth Robins Pennell
  • shiftlessness is a fine art with them, they've carried it so far.

    Jane Journeys On Ruth Comfort Mitchell
  • The same evidence of shiftlessness could be seen on every hand.

    Crooked Trails and Straight William MacLeod Raine
  • shiftlessness was one of several thousand things with which she had no patience.

    Local Color Irvin S. Cobb
  • Elim paused with an impatient snort at this exhibition of shiftlessness.

    The Happy End Joseph Hergesheimer
  • Idleness and "shiftlessness" were not merely ineffective, they were sinful.

    Ethics

    John Dewey and James Hayden Tufts
  • Scarcely any thing is a greater misfortune than shiftlessness.

    Cottage Economy

    William Cobbett
  • But water's not the only thing as shows their shiftlessness.

  • Labor saves us from the chaos of sloth, the pains of shiftlessness.

    Tablets

    Amos Bronson Alcott
  • She had needed them to combat Len's shiftlessness and slack good nature.

    Half Portions Edna Ferber
British Dictionary definitions for shiftlessness

shiftless

/ˈʃɪftlɪs/
adjective
1.
lacking in ambition or initiative
Derived Forms
shiftlessly, adverb
shiftlessness, 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
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Word Origin and History for shiftlessness

shiftless

adj.

"wanting in resources or energy and ability to shift for oneself," 1580s, from shift (n.1) in the sense "resources" + -less. Related: Shiftlessly; shiftlessness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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19
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