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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce listless (audio)

Dictionary definition of listless

Characterized by a lack of energy, enthusiasm, or interest in one's surroundings or activities.
"He was listless and depressed after his girlfriend ended their relationship."

Detailed meaning of listless

When someone appears listless, they often exhibit a sense of apathy or indifference, and they may seem disengaged or unmotivated. This state can result from physical fatigue, emotional exhaustion, or a general sense of malaise. Listlessness implies a lack of vitality and a feeling of being adrift or purposeless. It can manifest as a reduced capacity for focus or enthusiasm and is often associated with a desire for rest or relief from whatever might be causing this lack of energy and interest.

Example sentences containing listless

1. He was feeling listless and uninspired after a long day at work.
2. The hot weather made her feel listless and sluggish.
3. The patient's condition was listless and showed no improvement.
4. The economy has been in a state of listlessness for several months.
5. The team's performance was listless and unenthusiastic.
6. He had a listless, disinterested attitude.

History and etymology of listless

The adjective 'listless' finds its origins in the Middle English word 'list,' which meant 'pleasure' or 'desire.' It's connected to the Old English 'lyst,' signifying 'desire' or 'wish.' Over time, the prefix 'list-' was combined with 'less,' meaning 'without,' to form 'listles,' which evolved into the modern 'listless.' This etymological evolution is particularly fitting, as 'listless' characterizes a state of being without energy, enthusiasm, or interest in one's surroundings or activities. It reflects a lack of desire or pleasure in engaging with the world, making it a word that aptly encapsulates its meaning through its linguistic history.

Quiz: Find the meaning of listless

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Further usage examples of listless

1. The pace of the project was listless due to lack of motivation.
2. The market has been listless in recent weeks.
3. The dog was listless and unresponsive to commands.
4. She had a listless, dull look in her eyes.
5. The company was in a listless state due to poor leadership.
6. The party had a listless atmosphere with very few guests.
7. The hot, humid weather left her feeling utterly listless and drained of energy.
8. He appeared listless and disinterested after a sleepless night.
9. The boring lecture made the students feel quite listless and unengaged.
10. The medication left her feeling unusually listless and lethargic.
11. The gray, rainy day made everyone feel a bit listless and unmotivated.
12. His listless performance disappointed the coach during the game.
13. The monotonous routine left her feeling increasingly listless and uninspired.
14. Jet lag had turned her into a listless and fatigued traveler.
15. The repetitive tasks at work left him feeling listless and unfulfilled.
16. A lack of motivation made him appear listless and unenthusiastic at the gym.
17. The lengthy meeting made attendees grow increasingly listless and impatient.
18. She tried to shake off her listless mood with a brisk walk in the fresh air.
19. The persistent flu left her feeling weak, drained, and listless.
20. His listless demeanor concerned his friends, who thought something might be wrong.
21. The news of the layoffs left the office feeling listless and anxious.
22. The stagnant economy made businesses appear listless and uncertain.
23. The uninspiring book left her feeling listless and disappointed with her choice.
24. The absence of clear goals and direction made the team appear listless and confused.
25. His listless response to the exciting news surprised everyone, as they expected more enthusiasm.
26. A severe lack of sleep made him feel unusually listless and unable to concentrate.



uninterested, energetic, enthusiastic, lively


Suffix -less, ACT 15 (American College Testing), Middle School 14, Lethargy and Hopelessness

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