Definitions

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

  • n. A state or feeling of weariness, diminished energy, or listlessness. See Synonyms at lethargy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Lethargy or lack of energy; fatigue.
  • n. Listlessness or languor.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A condition of the body, or mind, when its voluntary functions are performed with difficulty, and only by a strong exertion of the will; languor; debility; weariness.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The state of having the energies weakened; weakness; weariness; languor of body or mind.
  • n. Synonyms Weariness, etc. See fatique.

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

  • n. a feeling of lack of interest or energy
  • n. a state of comatose torpor (as found in sleeping sickness)
  • n. weakness characterized by a lack of vitality or energy

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin lassitūdō, from lassus, weary; see lē- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French lassitude, from Latin lassitūdō ("faintness, weariness"), from lassus ("faint, weary"), perhaps for *ladtus, and thus akin to E. late. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Bush has taken the opposite approach and for all his swagger and protectiveness of executive prerogatives is becoming a disturbing study in lassitude in the executive branch.

    Sound Politics: "Double Down"?

  • Extreme lassitude from the heat is seldom felt here; and our nights are almost always comparatively cool, which is a very great advantage.

    Rural Hours

  • For Burke, the efficient cause of the "delight" occasioned by the experience of the Sublime is the power of terrible objects to "clear the parts" of the nervous system of dangerous and debilitating blockages arising from mental lassitude, that is, from persistent states of boredom and ennui.

    Re-collecting Spontaneous Overflows

  • Waves of that terrible lassitude, which is a positive anguish and not

    The Path of the King

  • The Doctor then wisely remarks, that it is "impossible to lay down any rule by which to regulate the number of miles a man may journey in a day, or to prescribe the precise number of ounces he ought to eat; but that nature has given us a very excellent guide in a sense of lassitude, which is as unerring in exercise as the sense of satiety is in eating."

    Recreations of Christopher North, Volume 2

  • A kind of lassitude compelled him to play this game.

    The Fourth Hand

  • To these simple appeals Ivan listened, certainly; but, bound down by that cruel lassitude which is the direst symptom of chronic melancholy, he refused every suggestion, and left his servants to return to their quarters, dismally shaking their gray heads over his mental state.

    The Genius

  • With the followers of Ronsard and those poets who immediately succeeded him a kind of lassitude has seized upon poetry at the end of the sixteenth century; impoverished and spiritless, it handled only trifling subjects.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 6: Fathers of the Church-Gregory XI

  • The lassitude which is a kind of spurious resignation poisons courage, or quenches it as water quenches fire.

    The Golden Silence

  • This alone would account for the general air of lassitude which is one of the most noticeable features of German life.

    Germany and the Germans From an American Point of View

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  • From p. 22 of Patrick Leigh Fermor's "A Time to Keep Silence":

    Then began an extraordinary transformation: this extreme lassitude dwindled to nothing; night shrank to five hours of light, dreamless and perfect sleep, followed by awakenings full of energy and limpid freshness.

    January 21, 2014