lacking brilliance or radiance; dull: lackluster eyes.
lacking liveliness, vitality, spirit, or enthusiasm: a lackluster performance.


a lack of brilliance or vitality.

Also especially British, lack·lus·tre.

Origin of lackluster

First recorded in 1590–1600; lack + luster1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lackluster

Contemporary Examples of lackluster

Historical Examples of lackluster

  • As it is, we bats a lackluster eye, an' wonders in a feeble way what's done corr'gated Enright's brow.

    Faro Nell and Her Friends

    Alfred Henry Lewis

  • At last Max saw in the old woman's lackluster eyes a spark of malice.

    The Wharf by the Docks

    Florence Warden

  • Willard gazed through the window with lackluster eyes and shook his head feebly.

    Left Half Harmon

    Ralph Henry Barbour

  • "I have nothing to tell her," said George—he raised two lackluster eyes and fixed them with a sort of dull stare on Lawson's face.

  • And yet, as Max looked at her—at this helpless, infirm old creature with the palsied hands and the lackluster eyes—he shivered.

    The Wharf by the Docks

    Florence Warden

Word Origin and History for lackluster

also lack-luster, c.1600, first attested in "As You Like It," from lack + luster. Combinations with lack- were frequent in 16c., e.g. lackland (1590s), of a landless man; lack-Latin (1530s), of an ignorant priest.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper