Try Our Apps


Supposedly vs. Supposably


[ahn-wee, ahn-wee; French ahn-nwee] /ɑnˈwi, ˈɑn wi; French ɑ̃ˈnwi/
a feeling of utter weariness and discontent resulting from satiety or lack of interest; boredom:
The endless lecture produced an unbearable ennui.
Origin of ennui
1660-70; < French: boredom; Old French enui displeasure; see annoy
listlessness, tedium, lassitude, languor. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for ennui
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In a fit of generosity or ennui or something I pitch in and help.

    My Wonderful Visit Charlie Chaplin
  • I dreaded the departure of Lady Geraldine less than the return of ennui.

  • And we have in these two words the precise explanation of this feeling of ennui.

  • I pass,” said he, “like a shadow over the earth, accompanied by misery and ennui.

    Self-Help Samuel Smiles
  • She took the purple flower I had plucked in ennui's garden in her slim, cold hand.

    Henry Brocken Walter J. de la Mare
British Dictionary definitions for ennui


/ˈɒnwiː; French ɑ̃nɥi/
a feeling of listlessness and general dissatisfaction resulting from lack of activity or excitement
Word Origin
C18: from French: apathy, from Old French enui annoyance, vexation; see annoy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for ennui

1660s as a French word in English; nativized by 1758; from French ennui, from Old French enui "annoyance" (13c.), back-formation from enuier (see annoy). Hence ennuyé "afflicted with ennui;" ennuyée a woman so afflicted.

So far as frequency of use is concerned, the word might be regarded as fully naturalized; but the pronunciation has not been anglicized, there being in fact no Eng. analogy which could serve as a guide. [OED]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for ennui

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for ennui

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for ennui