Definitions

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

  • n. Habitual laziness; sloth.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Habitual laziness or sloth.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Freedom from that which pains, or harasses, as toil, care, grief, etc.
  • n. The quality or condition of being indolent; inaction, or lack of exertion of body or mind, proceeding from love of ease or aversion to toil; habitual idleness; indisposition to labor; laziness; sloth; inactivity.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The state of being indolent.
  • n. Freedom from pain, grief, care, or trouble.
  • n. Love of ease; indisposition to labor; avoidance of exertion of mind or body; idleness; laziness.
  • n. Synonyms Sloth, slothfulness, inertness, sluggishness. See idle.

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

  • n. inactivity resulting from a dislike of work

Etymologies

First attested 1603, from French indolence, insensitivity to pain, from Latin indolentia, insensibility, from in- not + dolere to grieve. Sense of laziness, first attested 1710, is related to taking pains. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Seated, without doing anything, the greater part of the day, in an armchair of red wood, he bitterly complained of what he called the indolence and ignorance of his countrymen.

    Personal Narrative of Travels to the Equinoctial Regions of America, During the Year 1799-1804 — Volume 1

  • For the word indolence, it merely says, "the quality or state of being indolent."

    Things found on the way to other things.

  • A leader who engages in indolence “ought to blush with shame to claim a part in them [victories] for his own renown when he had contributed nothing to the task but his voice and his thinking – not even that, seeing that in tasks such as these the counsel and commands which bring men their glory are exclusively those which are given on the spot in the midst of the action.”

    An Emperor Should Die On His Feet « So Many Books

  • I viewed with regret the many hours I have spent in indolence, and now soarly [sic] feel the want of that information which those hours would have given me had they been judiciously expended. '

    11.03

  • The reason for my new indolence is perfectly simple: Tokyo is so crowded that it doesn't have space for sports.

    No-Fat City

  • That voluntary debility, which modern language is content to term indolence, will, if it is not counteracted by resolution, render in time the strongest faculties lifeless, and turn the flame to the smoke of virtue.

    Life Of Johnson

  • The word indolence has been greatly misused in the sense of little love for work and lack of energy, while ridicule has concealed the misuse.

    The Indolence of the Filipino

  • This mixture of restlessness and indolence is the key to many of the contradictions of human life.

    Zoe: The History of Two Lives

  • But indolence is the mother of vice, and not only to little children might Doctor Watts have asserted that

    Life in Mexico, During a Residence of Two Years in That Country

  • We did not want for occupation; but my eager disposition was now turned to the field of intellectual exertion only; and hard study I found to be an excellent medicine to allay a fever of spirit with which in indolence,

    I.7

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