having or showing little or no interest in anything; languid; spiritless; indifferent: a listless mood; a listless handshake.

Origin of listless

First recorded in 1400–50, listless is from the late Middle English word lystles. See list4, -less
Related formslist·less·ly, adverblist·less·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for listless

Contemporary Examples of listless

Historical Examples of listless

  • His heart no longer thumped—it was throbbing in a tired, listless fashion.

  • She shook violently for a while before she answered in a listless voice.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • Eventually, however, she lapsed into a sort of listless immobility.

    Cleo The Magnificent

    Louis Zangwill

  • "Then I've missed them," said Rotha, sinking into a chair in a listless attitude.

  • There was a listless melancholy, a lonely weariness in his look and movements.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine

British Dictionary definitions for listless



disinclined for any effort or exertion; lacking vigour, enthusiasm, or energy
Derived Formslistlessly, adverblistlessness, noun

Word Origin for listless

C15: from list desire + -less
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 listless

mid-15c., from Middle English liste "pleasure, joy, delight" (see list (v.4)) + -less. Related: Listlessly; listlessness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper