[ os-i-tuh nt ]
/ ˈɒs ɪ tənt /


yawning, as with drowsiness; gaping.
drowsy or inattentive.
dull, lazy, or negligent.

Origin of oscitant

1615–25; < Latin ōscitant- (stem of ōscitāns) (present participle of ōscitāre to gape, yawn), equivalent to ōs mouth + cit(āre) to put in motion) + -ant- -ant
Related formsos·ci·tan·cy, os·ci·tance, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for oscitancy

  • Its necessary concomitants, are official inattention and oscitancy.

    Four Early Pamphlets|William Godwin

British Dictionary definitions for oscitancy



/ (ˈɒsɪtənsɪ) /

noun plural -tancies or -tances

the state of being drowsy, lazy, or inattentive
the act of yawning
Official name: oscitation
Derived Formsoscitant, adjective

Word Origin for oscitancy

C17: from Latin oscitāre to gape, yawn
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 oscitancy



"yawning," from Latin oscitans "listless, sluggish, lazy," present participle of oscitare "to gape, yawn," from os citare "to move the mouth" (see oral and cite).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper