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  1. not endowed with life; having no life; inanimate: lifeless matter.
  2. destitute of living things: a lifeless planet.
  3. deprived of life; dead: a battlefield strewn with lifeless bodies.
  4. without animation, liveliness, or spirit; dull; colorless; torpid: a lifeless performance of a play.
  5. insensible, as a person who has fainted.

Origin of lifeless

before 1000; Middle English lifles, Old English līflēas. See life, -less
Related formslife·less·ly, adverblife·less·ness, noun

Synonyms for lifeless

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Synonym study

3. See dead.

Antonyms for lifeless

1, 3. living. 4. lively. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for lifeless

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Historical Examples of lifeless

British Dictionary definitions for lifeless


  1. without life; inanimate; dead
  2. not sustaining living organisms
  3. having no vitality or animation
  4. unconscious
Derived Formslifelessly, adverblifelessness, 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 lifeless

Old English lifleas "inanimate, dead;" see life + -less. Meaning "with no living things" is from 1728. Related: Lifelessly; lifelessness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper