[ per-fuhngk-tuh-ree ]
See synonyms for: perfunctoryperfunctorily on

  1. performed merely as a routine duty; hasty and superficial: perfunctory courtesy.

  2. lacking interest, care, or enthusiasm; indifferent or apathetic: In his lectures he reveals himself to be merely a perfunctory speaker.

Origin of perfunctory

1575–85; <Late Latin perfūnctōrius negligent, superficial, derivative of perfungī to do one's job, be done, equivalent to per-per- + fung-, base of fungī to perform, function + -tōrius-tory1

Other words for perfunctory

Opposites for perfunctory

Other words from perfunctory

  • per·func·to·ri·ly, adverb
  • per·func·to·ri·ness, noun

Words Nearby perfunctory Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use perfunctory in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for perfunctory


/ (pəˈfʌŋktərɪ) /

  1. done superficially, only as a matter of routine; careless or cursory

  2. dull or indifferent

Origin of perfunctory

C16: from Late Latin perfunctōrius negligent, from perfunctus dispatched, from perfungī to fulfil; see function

Derived forms of perfunctory

  • perfunctorily, adverb
  • perfunctoriness, noun

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