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 listlessness

Historical Examples of listlessness

  • But now of a sudden Sir Oliver's listlessness was all dispelled.

    The Sea-Hawk

    Raphael Sabatini

  • "Gafferson," Thorpe repeated, very slowly, and with almost an effect of listlessness.

    The Market-Place

    Harold Frederic

  • There was a good deal of excitement, alternated with listlessness.

    David Elginbrod

    George MacDonald

  • The man who has a habit of dawdling or listlessness will show it in everything he does.

    How to Succeed

    Orison Swett Marden

  • There was courage in that, I saw, for all the listlessness of the tone in which it had been uttered.

    The Prairie Mother

    Arthur Stringer

British Dictionary definitions for listlessness



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 listlessness



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper