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See more synonyms for indolent on Thesaurus.com
  1. having or showing a disposition to avoid exertion; slothful: an indolent person.
  2. Pathology. causing little or no pain; inactive or relatively benign: an indolent ulcer that is not painful and is slow to heal.
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Origin of indolent

1655–65; < Latin indolent- (stem of indolēns), equivalent to in- in-3 + dolent- (stem of dolēns) present participle of dolēre to be pain-ful, be in pain; see dole2, -ent
Related formsin·do·lent·ly, adverb


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

easygoing, idle, inactive, inert, lackadaisical, languid, lax, lazy, lethargic, listless, resting, shiftless, slothful, slow, sluggish, torpid

Examples from the Web for indolent

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • In his indolent, rather selfish way, he was much in love with his wife.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • And he was also indolent, with the indolence which is so often the secret of good nature.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • I also was too indolent--truly, not figuratively; the book was never written.

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

  • None but the frivolous or the indolent will say, “I am too old to learn.”


    Samuel Smiles

  • All at once, his mind had become too indolent to do any more thinking.

    The Market-Place

    Harold Frederic

British Dictionary definitions for indolent


  1. disliking work or effort; lazy; idle
  2. pathol causing little painan indolent tumour
  3. (esp of a painless ulcer) slow to heal
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Derived Formsindolence, nounindolently, adverb

Word Origin

C17: from Latin indolēns not feeling pain, from in- 1 + dolēns, from dolēre to grieve, cause distress
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 indolent


1660s, "painless," from Late Latin indolentem (see indolence). Sense of "living easily" is 1710, from French indolent. Related: Indolently.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

indolent in Medicine


  1. Disinclined to exert oneself; habitually lazy.
  2. Causing little or no pain, as a tumor.
  3. Slow to heal, grow, or develop, as an ulcer; inactive.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.