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Origin of ennui
Words nearby ennui
What does ennui mean?
Put simply, ennui is a French word that describes feelings associated with boredom.
Where does ennui come from?
The word ennui comes from an old French word meaning “profound sadness, chagrin, or disgust.” Among French speakers, ennui can also refer to “disagreeableness.” It comes from a Latin word that also gives us the word annoy.
Like in French, ennui became used in English to describe a feeling of discontent almost as if it was an actual object. It usually has a kind of wistful listlessness.
How is ennui used in real life?
Ennui, as a fancy word for “boredom,” implies discontent and angst. It is often used as if a person were describing an illness, as in “I’m suffering from ennui.” It’s a tricky word to define in English—probably because it comes from French.
Hi I'm Stu and I have PTSD that leads to bouts of depression and ennui. Tonight is one of those nights. You're not alone in your feelings. We are all in this together.
— Wombat Medic (@CallMeCookie) October 1, 2018
Cilantro divides us. But can we not understand that all good has become something that is attached to both ennui and anger- why don’t we simply accept one another’s cilantro preference and then work towards a centrist peanut butter driven economy?
— t.j. miller (@nottjmiller) October 1, 2018
More examples of ennui:
“The prospect of being with your significant other forever. Does it sound like eternal bliss? Or a recipe for soul-crushing ennui?”
—Brad Newsome, The Sydney Morning Herald, September, 2018
This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.
Example sentences from the Web for ennui
Consumed and eventually disgorged, Pierre is restored to his loving parents, his ennui banished.
Gabe tried to kick his postmodern, adolescent sense of ennui (a “lame” feeling) through members of the opposite sex (“dames”).The Best Lyrics From Daniel Day-Lewis’s Son’s Rap Song|Amy Zimmerman|November 20, 2013|DAILY BEAST
The disconnect is sharp; the frustration, the sense of ennui palpable from Capitol Hill to California.This Isn’t Obama’s Malaise, It’s GOP Intransigence|Robert Shrum|May 3, 2013|DAILY BEAST
As often happens in hostage situations, a sense of ennui enveloped the participants.Fiscal Cliff Hostage Situation Day 28: Ennui Sets in|Daniel Gross|December 4, 2012|DAILY BEAST
Probably the best movie to tackle the ennui of working life, Office Space also gave us one of the best quitting scenes.
The rich man cares nothing for their heart, and is very susceptible to ennui.
The ennui and emptiness of her life afterwards made her feel regret.The Memoirs of Louis XIV., His Court and The Regency, Complete|Duc de Saint-Simon
Instead of resigning myself to two hours' ennui, inseparable from la suerie(the sweating process) I make him read to me.
“Ennui almost causes them to lose their minds” is a statement based on the reports of missionaries.The Modern Woman's Rights Movement|Kaethe Schirmacher
And young women are dying of ennui because they aren't given enough to do.The Pacific Triangle|Sydney Greenbie