Definitions

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Sloth; torpor.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Sloth; negligence; indolence.

Etymologies

From Anglo-Norman accidie, Old French accide, accidie, from Late Latin accīdia, alteration of acēdia ("sloth, torpor"), from Ancient Greek ἀκήδεια (akēdeia, "indifference"), from ἀ- (a-, "not") + κῆδος (kēdos, "care"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Simple boredom is the sort you suffer from during long Christmas dinners or political speeches; "existential" boredom is more complex and persistent, taking in many conditions, such as melancholia, depression, world weariness and what the psalmist called the "destruction that wasteth at noonday"—or spiritual despair, often referred to as acedia or accidie.

    Accidie? Ennui? Sigh . . .

  • He would reconcile himself to living since there was no alternative and, this perverse fit of resentment and accidie conveniently put down to weakness, would come to believe that he had had a lucky escape.

    She Closed Her Eyes

  • ‘Depression’, ‘grief’, ‘melancholia’, ‘black bile’, ‘accidie’ are, it is true, not synonymous, nor do they, probably, refer to precisely the same phenomena; but does that mean that there are no such dark phenomena?

    Jane O'Grady - Can a machine change your mind?

  • Wasn't accidie, that lethargy of the spirit, one of the deadly sins?

    The Murder Room

  • Gif me hit nat naut {;} þenne is hit gemeles vnder accidie · þat ich slouþe cleopede.

    Selections from early Middle English, 1130-1250 Part I: Texts

  • Deciding, on a whim, to visit the Zoo, she runs into her old friend Professor "Badger" Badgecumbe, and they go and look at the echidna, a hideous creature who is the incarnation of accidie.

    Mrs. Miniver

  • Five minutes of weeding routs accidie, and "provides an incentive to be in the open air without the intolerable necessity for striking, coaxing, pursuing or intercepting any kind, shape or size of ball ..."

    Try Anything Twice

  • The mental and spiritual accidie which had been enveloping me for nearly a year dropped off me like a cloak.

    Try Anything Twice

  • The meridian demon was upon him; he was possessed by that bored and hopeless post-prandial melancholy which the coenobites of old knew and feared under the name of "accidie."

    Crome Yellow

  • Kneel down or sit decorously without accidie or leaning to one side or the other, and always bear thyself thus when thou dost pray.

    The Founders of the New Devotion: Being the Lives of Gerard Groote, Florentius Radewin and Their Followers.

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Comments

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  • From p. 15 of Patrick Leigh Fermor's "A Time to Keep Silence":

    Having finished a flask of Calvados, which I had bought in Rouen, I sat at my desk in a condition of overwhelming gloom and accidie.

    January 21, 2014

  • A state of listlessness or torpor, of not caring or not being concerned with one's position or condition in the world.

    May 3, 2011

  • Metapsychology: 'The eleven papers in this collection are concerned with practical reasoning, or reasoning about what to do. In particular, they address issues connected with a number of ways in which practical reasoning can go wrong. These include various aspects of akrasia (acting in a way you judge not to be best), failing to act in accordance with your resolutions (what Richard Holton calls weakness of will and distinguishes from the traditional understanding of akrasia), accidie (failing to be motivated by your value judgments), the role of emotions in practical reasoning, and prudence (whether we should take account of our future desires).'

    November 12, 2008

  • Citation on coenobite.

    March 29, 2008