[ rest-lis ]
/ ˈrɛst lɪs /


characterized by or showing inability to remain at rest: a restless mood.
unquiet or uneasy, as a person, the mind, or the heart.
never at rest; perpetually agitated or in motion: the restless sea.
without rest; without restful sleep: a restless night.
unceasingly active; averse to quiet or inaction, as persons: a restless crowd.

Nearby words

  1. resting tidal volume,
  2. restitute,
  3. restitution,
  4. restive,
  5. restively,
  6. restless cavy,
  7. restless legs syndrome,
  8. restlessly,
  9. resto,
  10. restock

Origin of restless

before 1000; Middle English restles, Old English restlēas. See rest1, -less

Related formsrest·less·ly, adverbrest·less·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for restless

British Dictionary definitions for restless


/ (ˈrɛstlɪs) /


unable to stay still or quiet
ceaselessly active or movingthe restless wind
worried; anxious; uneasy
not restful; without reposea restless night
Derived Formsrestlessly, adverbrestlessness, 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

Word Origin and History for restless



late 14c., from rest (n.1) + -less. A general Germanic compound (cf. Frisian restleas, Dutch rusteloos, German rastlos, Danish rastlös). Meaning "stirring constantly, desirous of action" is attested from late 15c. Related: Restlessly; restlessness. Old English had restleas "deprived of sleep."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper