moderately warm; tepid.
having or showing little ardor, zeal, or enthusiasm; indifferent: lukewarm applause.

Origin of lukewarm

1350–1400; Middle English lukewarme tepid, equivalent to luke tepid (unexplained alteration of lew, Old English gehlēow tepid) + warme warm
Related formsluke·warm·ly, adverbluke·warm·ness, luke·warmth, noun

Synonyms for lukewarm Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lukewarm

Contemporary Examples of lukewarm

Historical Examples of lukewarm

  • Oh, now I see why I thought her affection measured and lukewarm.

  • Have ready some water, rather more than lukewarm, but not hot.

    Culture and Cooking

    Catherine Owen

  • Every hour he had to get up to give the baby spoonfuls of lukewarm sugar and water.


    Emile Zola

  • It should be stirred in thoroughly, but quickly; it must not be too hot, or too cold, but just lukewarm.

    The Skilful Cook

    Mary Harrison

  • Put into lukewarm water, to which has been added one pint of old ale.

    The Skilful Cook

    Mary Harrison

British Dictionary definitions for lukewarm



(esp of water) moderately warm; tepid
having or expressing little enthusiasm or conviction
Derived Formslukewarmly, adverblukewarmness, noun

Word Origin for lukewarm

C14 luke probably from Old English hlēow warm; compare German lauwarm
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 lukewarm

late 14c., from luke + warm (adj.). Figurative sense of "lacking in zeal" (of persons or their actions) is from 1520s. Related: Lukewarmly; lukewarmness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper