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[rest-lis] /ˈrɛst lɪs/
characterized by or showing inability to remain at rest:
a restless mood.
unquiet or uneasy, as a person, the mind, or the heart.
never at rest; perpetually agitated or in motion:
the restless sea.
without rest; without restful sleep:
a restless night.
unceasingly active; averse to quiet or inaction, as persons:
a restless crowd.
Origin of restless
before 1000; Middle English restles, Old English restlēas. See rest1, -less
Related forms
restlessly, adverb
restlessness, noun
1, 2, 3. restive, agitated, fretful. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for restless
  • During migratory season, the caged birds became restless and exhibited increased hopping and wing flapping.
  • Look, it should not be a surprise that hungry people tend to be more restless than well fed people.
  • Certainly there could be other reasons why people might have restless sleep.
  • The others also seemed to have relatively restless sleep.
  • If she stops, she can't sleep or eat and becomes extremely restless, anxious and irritable.
  • They lie near the heart of mankind's restless efforts to make sense of the world.
  • The new gig meant steady employment at a more reasonable salary, but he remained restless, dissatisfied.
  • The audience may grow restless suspending its disbelief.
  • If you've ever wondered how much sleep you actually got during a restless night, a new home-use device may have the answer.
  • Its share price has languished for the past five years and shareholders are restless.
British Dictionary definitions for restless


unable to stay still or quiet
ceaselessly active or moving: the restless wind
worried; anxious; uneasy
not restful; without repose: a restless night
Derived Forms
restlessly, adverb
restlessness, noun
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 restless

late 14c., from rest (n.1) + -less. A general Germanic compound (cf. Frisian restleas, Dutch rusteloos, German rastlos, Danish rastlös). Meaning "stirring constantly, desirous of action" is attested from late 15c. Related: Restlessly; restlessness. Old English had restleas "deprived of sleep."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for restless


Related Terms

the natives are restless

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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