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See more synonyms for listless on Thesaurus.com
  1. having or showing little or no interest in anything; languid; spiritless; indifferent: a listless mood; a listless handshake.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for listless

leaden, languid, lukewarm, sleepy, lackadaisical, passive, lifeless, drowsy, sluggish, dull, lethargic, inert, absent, abstracted, apathetic, blah, bored, careless, dormant, dreamy

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


  1. disinclined for any effort or exertion; lacking vigour, enthusiasm, or energy
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper