Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Disinclined to exert oneself; habitually lazy. See Synonyms at lazy.
  • adj. Conducive to inactivity or laziness; lethargic: humid, indolent weather.
  • adj. Causing little or no pain: an indolent tumor.
  • adj. Slow to heal, grow, or develop; inactive: an indolent ulcer.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Habitually lazy, procrastinating, or resistant to physical labor/labour.
  • adj. Inducing laziness (e.g. indolent comfort).
  • adj. Causing scant or no physical pain; progressing slowly; inactive (of an ulcer, etc.).
  • adj. Healing slowly.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Free from toil, pain, or trouble.
  • adj. Indulging in ease; avoiding labor and exertion; habitually idle; lazy; inactive.
  • adj. Causing little or no pain or annoyance.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In medicine, causing little or no pain: as, an indolent tumor.
  • Avoiding, or characterized by the avoidance of, exertion; indulging or given to indulgence in ease; indisposed to labor; lazy; listless; sluggish: as, an indolent person or life.
  • Synonyms Lazy, Slothful, etc. (see idle); Supine, Careless, etc. (see listless).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. (of tumors, e.g.) slow to heal or develop and usually painless
  • adj. disinclined to work or exertion

Etymologies

Late Latin indolēns, indolent-, painless : Latin in-, not; see in-1 + Latin dolēns, present participle of dolēre, to feel pain.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin indolentem, from in- ("not") + dolēns ("pain") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • His eyes were sleepy, his expression indolent or good-natured.

    Elizabeth's Campaign

  • Our committing of ourselves to God is to be, not in indolent and passive quietism, but accompanied with active well-doings. faithful -- to His covenant promises.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

  • Mutual good humour is a dress we ought to appear in wherever we meet, and we should make no mention of what concerns ourselves, without it be of matters wherein our friends ought to rejoice: but indeed there are crowds of people who put themselves in no method of pleasing themselves or others; such are those whom we usually call indolent persons.

    The Young Gentleman and Lady's Monitor, and English Teacher's Assistant

  • Mutual good humour is a Dress we ought to appear in whenever we meet, and we should make no mention of what concerns our selves, without it be of Matters wherein our Friends ought to rejoyce: But indeed there are Crowds of People who put themselves in no Method of pleasing themselves or others; such are those whom we usually call indolent Persons.

    Spectator, June 25, 1711

  • But indeed there are Crowds of People who put themselves in no Method of pleasing themselves or others; such are those whom we usually call indolent Persons.

    The Spectator, Volume 1 Eighteenth-Century Periodical Essays

  • Critics say the test has a significant rate of false positives—apparent detection of cancer that isn't confirmed with further tests—or that it identifies so-called indolent tumors that are ultimately of little health consequence.

    Panel Faults Widely Used Prostate-Cancer Test

  • Let no one say that laptops have not changed the way writers work: right now, I am sitting in an internet café facing the Pacific Ocean, watching indigo fog roll across a 180 degree view of what Wallace Stevens would have called indolent ocean.

    Author! Author! » 2007 » August

  • She is described as indolent and sensual, and she once declared that the chief good in the world was love.

    Famous Affinities of History — Complete

  • The usual place of rendezvous for the indolent is the king's tent; where great liberty of speech seems to be exercised by the company towards each other; while in speaking of their chief they express but one opinion.

    Life and Travels of Mungo Park in Central Africa

  • The idea that just because someone is advanced in years should be "indolent" or "indulgent" is grossly condescending and insulting.

    I hope when I finally grow up that I will become a Real Old Person | Tim Lott

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.