not endowed with life; having no life; inanimate: lifeless matter.
destitute of living things: a lifeless planet.
deprived of life; dead: a battlefield strewn with lifeless bodies.
without animation, liveliness, or spirit; dull; colorless; torpid: a lifeless performance of a play.
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

Synonym study

3. See dead.

Antonyms for lifeless

1, 3. living. 4. lively. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for lifelessly

blandly, dully, monotonously, sluggishly, unenthusiastically

Examples from the Web for lifelessly

Historical Examples of lifelessly

  • "I suppose so," Norma conceded, lifelessly, after a silence.

    The Beloved Woman

    Kathleen Norris

  • But he had not gone very far when he sagged against the pommel, lifelessly.

    'Drag' Harlan

    Charles Alden Seltzer

  • Cherry said lifelessly, looking up at her sister with dulled eyes.


    Kathleen Norris

  • After a time he said lifelessly, "Go on with the inventory, Paul."

    West Of The Sun

    Edgar Pangborn

  • "Good-night, Luce," she said lifelessly as they reached the verandah.


    Cynthia Stockley

British Dictionary definitions for lifelessly



without life; inanimate; dead
not sustaining living organisms
having no vitality or animation
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 lifelessly



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