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[list-lis] /ˈlɪst lɪs/
having or showing little or no interest in anything; languid; spiritless; indifferent:
a listless mood; a listless handshake.
Origin of listless
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English lystles. See list4, -less
Related forms
listlessly, adverb
listlessness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for listlessly
Historical Examples
  • Urania saw her to the hall and came back shrieking with laughter; and Cornlie also laughed, but only listlessly.

    The Law Inevitable Louis Couperus
  • But he said it so listlessly I knew he was merely trying to lie like a gentleman.

    The Prairie Mother Arthur Stringer
  • Emma McChesney regarded them listlessly when the nurse lifted them out of their tissue wrappings.

    Roast Beef, Medium Edna Ferber
  • listlessly I put my hand in hers, and clasped her fingers gently.

    The Crack of Doom Robert Cromie
  • At first the animal seemed indifferent, and surveyed them listlessly.

    The Old-Fashioned Fairy Book Constance Cary Harrison
  • "I've taken enough of the beastly stuff," answered Don listlessly.

    Left Guard Gilbert Ralph Henry Barbour
  • "Get yourself a new coat, if you can find one for the price," answered Faith, listlessly scrubbing a panful of turnips for dinner.

    At the Little Brown House Ruth Alberta Brown
  • "I should be very glad to make you a present of them, Cousin Gussie," he said, listlessly.

    Galusha the Magnificent Joseph C. Lincoln
  • It was therefore a most mournful Loyalheart who listlessly packed a traveling bag, preparatory to the next morning's journey.

    Grace Harlowe's Golden Summer Jessie Graham Flower
  • "Yes—I'm very fit—thanks," Thorpe said, listlessly, and the other left him.

    The Market-Place Harold Frederic
British Dictionary definitions for listlessly


disinclined for any effort or exertion; lacking vigour, enthusiasm, or energy
Derived Forms
listlessly, adverb
listlessness, noun
Word Origin
C15: from list desire + -less
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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Contemporary definitions for listlessly

having no inclination or spirit; characterized by unwillingingness to exert

Word Origin

Middle English list 'desire' + less's 21st Century Lexicon
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Word Origin and History for listlessly



mid-15c., from Middle English liste "pleasure, joy, delight" (see list (v.4)) + -less. Related: Listlessly; listlessness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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