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Denotation vs. Connotation

lackluster

or (especially British) lacklustre

[lak-luhs-ter] /ˈlækˌlʌs tər/
adjective
1.
lacking brilliance or radiance; dull:
lackluster eyes.
2.
lacking liveliness, vitality, spirit, or enthusiasm:
a lackluster performance.
noun
3.
a lack of brilliance or vitality.
Origin of lackluster
1590-1600
1590-1600; lack + luster1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for lackluster
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But she said it from her bed, her eyes fixed in a 155 lackluster stare on the little oval gleam of the miniature.

    Out of the Air Inez Haynes Irwin
  • They looked at us from their doors with lackluster eyes and apparent indifference.

    Average Americans Theodore Roosevelt
  • As it is, we bats a lackluster eye, an' wonders in a feeble way what's done corr'gated Enright's brow.

    Faro Nell and Her Friends Alfred Henry Lewis
  • Her son regarded her with lackluster eyes when she returned.

    The Broken Gate Emerson Hough
  • And yet, as Max looked at her—at this helpless, infirm old creature with the palsied hands and the lackluster eyes—he shivered.

    The Wharf by the Docks Florence Warden
Word Origin and History for lackluster
adj.

also lack-luster, c.1600, first attested in "As You Like It," from lack + luster. Combinations with lack- were frequent in 16c., e.g. lackland (1590s), of a landless man; lack-Latin (1530s), of an ignorant priest.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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16
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