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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 indolently
Historical Examples
  • Personal interests may be indolently neglected or carelessly pursued.

    Calvert and Penn Brantz Mayer
  • Few birds care to take life so easily, not to say indolently.

    Bird Neighbors Neltje Blanchan
  • She indolently flashes a ring on her most important finger, and he starts back melodramatically.

    The Admirable Crichton J. M. Barrie
  • The same farmer sat as indolently now as then, on the top step.

    The Lighted Match Charles Neville Buck
  • The group gathered in the hotel branch of Pitt & Sanderson were indolently interested rather than excited.

    Making Money Owen Johnson
  • "I thought I mentioned that there would not be time," she added, indolently, in her sweet voice.

    East Angels Constance Fenimore Woolson
  • "It makes me furious to see both of you making violent love to Joy Havenith," she said indolently.

    The Wishing-Ring Man Margaret Widdemer
  • She was indolently despotic, fond of playing with her sensations, and amusing herself with her passions.

    Dust Julian Hawthorne
  • Her new beau then, carelessly seating himself by her side, indolently said: 'What a heat!

    Camilla Fanny Burney
  • Mamma was looking over her shoulder, sadly, through the window at the familiar view of lake and mountain, indolently listening.

    Willing to Die Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
British Dictionary definitions for indolently


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 indolently



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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indolently 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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