Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A lack of energy or vigor; sluggishness.
  • noun A lack of interest or enthusiasm; apathy.
  • noun Medicine An abnormal state of drowsiness, as caused by disease or drugs.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To make lethargic or dull.
  • noun Same as litharge.
  • noun A state of prolonged inactivity or torpor; inertness of body or mind; sluggishness; dullness; stupor.
  • noun Specifically, in pathology, a disorder of consciousness, which consists of prolonged and profound sleep, from which the patient may be momentarily aroused, but into which he quickly sinks again.
  • noun The hibernation or winter sleep of an animal, or any other state of complete repose, as a period of summer lethargy observed in many insect-larvæ, the repose of many tropical animals during the dry season, etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb obsolete To lethargize.
  • noun Morbid drowsiness; continued or profound sleep, from which a person can scarcely be awaked.
  • noun A state of inaction or indifference.

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

  • noun a state of comatose torpor (as found in sleeping sickness)
  • noun weakness characterized by a lack of vitality or energy
  • noun inactivity; showing an unusual lack of energy

Etymologies

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

[Middle English letargie, from Old French, from Late Latin lēthārgia, from Greek lēthārgiā, from lēthārgos, forgetful : lēthē, forgetfulness + ārgos, idle (a-, without; see a– + ergon, work; see werg- in Indo-European roots).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin lēthargia, from Ancient Greek ληθαργία (lēthargia, "drowsiness"), from λήθαργος (lēthargos, "forgetful, lethargic"), from λήθη (lēthē, "forgetfulness") + ἀργός (argos, "not working").

Examples

  • Aspiration of aliphatic hydrocarbons may result in lethargy, tremors, and, rarely, convulsions or coma.

    Hydrocarbon Ingestion

  • The main reason for the dollar's lethargy is seen as the weakening U.S. economy and expectations the U.S.

    Bank of Japan Cuts Key Rate

  • There you’ll find that the word for truth is aletheia, from which in English we get the word lethargy.

    BREAKFAST WITH SOCRATES

  • There you’ll find that the word for truth is aletheia, from which in English we get the word lethargy.

    BREAKFAST WITH SOCRATES

  • Malaise is defined as: “a general feeling of worry, discontent, or dissatisfaction, often resulting in lethargy.”

    McCain: Send Gramm to Minsk - The Caucus Blog - NYTimes.com

  • This is not lethargy, which is a heaviness and unserviceability of mind and body from dullness and which can occur even when attending to an external object.

    How to See Yourself As You Really Are

  • This is not lethargy, which is a heaviness and unserviceability of mind and body from dullness and which can occur even when attending to an external object.

    How to See Yourself As You Really Are

  • Condemning what the UDPS termed the lethargy of the United Nations and the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in the conflict, and the "delays and excuses of the belligerents," the UDPS noted "with concern inflammatory and warlike statements that reduce the chances of peace."

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • The only thing that can arouse the inhabitants out of their lethargy is the prospect of a drink at somebody else's expense.

    Three Elephant Power and Other Stories

  • And until the people can be got up from the lethargy, which is an awful symptom of the advanced state of their disease, I know of nothing that can be done beyond keeping their wrongs continually before them.

    The Letters of Charles Dickens Vol. 1 (of 3), 1833-1856

Comments

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  • An NPR commentator accented the second syllable, as if she were saying lethargic. I'd accept this from mere mortals.... but from NPR?

    October 26, 2008