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[in-dl-uh nt] /ˈɪn dl ənt/
having or showing a disposition to avoid exertion; slothful:
an indolent person.
Pathology. causing little or no pain; inactive or relatively benign:
an indolent ulcer that is not painful and is slow to heal.
Origin of indolent
1655-65; < Latin indolent- (stem of indolēns), equivalent to in- in-3 + dolent- (stem of dolēns) present participle of dolēre to be pain-ful, be in pain; see dole2, -ent
Related forms
indolently, adverb
1. slow, inactive, sluggish, torpid. See idle. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for indolent
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He is a pleasant young fellow, but there is more than indolent pleasuring to a young man's life.

    A Little Girl in Old Quebec Amanda Millie Douglas
  • In his indolent, rather selfish way, he was much in love with his wife.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • Shall I lap my soul in indolent ease while the work of life is before me?

  • And he was also indolent, with the indolence which is so often the secret of good nature.

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
  • It is so easy to judge capriciously, and according to indolent impulse!

    Spare Hours John Brown
British Dictionary definitions for indolent


disliking work or effort; lazy; idle
(pathol) causing little pain: an indolent tumour
(esp of a painless ulcer) slow to heal
Derived Forms
indolence, noun
indolently, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Latin indolēns not feeling pain, from in-1 + dolēns, from dolēre to grieve, cause distress
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
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Word Origin and History for indolent

1660s, "painless," from Late Latin indolentem (see indolence). Sense of "living easily" is 1710, from French indolent. Related: Indolently.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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indolent in Medicine

indolent in·do·lent (ĭn'də-lənt)

  1. Disinclined to exert oneself; habitually lazy.

  2. Causing little or no pain, as a tumor.

  3. Slow to heal, grow, or develop, as an ulcer; inactive.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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