from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Sloth; negligence; indolence.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun obsolete Sloth; torpor.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Anglo-Norman accidie, Old French accide, accidie, from Late Latin accīdia, alteration of acēdia ("sloth, torpor"), from Ancient Greek ἀκήδεια (akēdeia, "indifference"), from ἀ- (a-, "not") + κῆδος (kēdos, "care").


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  • Simple boredom is the sort you suffer from during long Christmas dinners or political speeches; "existential" boredom is more complex and persistent, taking in many conditions, such as melancholia, depression, world weariness and what the psalmist called the "destruction that wasteth at noonday"—or spiritual despair, often referred to as acedia or accidie.

    Accidie? Ennui? Sigh . . . Elizabeth Lowry 2011

  • He would reconcile himself to living since there was no alternative and, this perverse fit of resentment and accidie conveniently put down to weakness, would come to believe that he had had a lucky escape.

    She Closed Her Eyes 2010

  • ‘Depression’, ‘grief’, ‘melancholia’, ‘black bile’, ‘accidie’ are, it is true, not synonymous, nor do they, probably, refer to precisely the same phenomena; but does that mean that there are no such dark phenomena?

    Jane O'Grady - Can a machine change your mind? William Harryman 2009

  • ‘Depression’, ‘grief’, ‘melancholia’, ‘black bile’, ‘accidie’ are, it is true, not synonymous, nor do they, probably, refer to precisely the same phenomena; but does that mean that there are no such dark phenomena?

    Archive 2009-05-24 William Harryman 2009

  • Wasn't accidie, that lethargy of the spirit, one of the deadly sins?

    The Murder Room James, P. D. 1988

  • Gif me hit nat naut {;} þenne is hit gemeles vnder accidie · þat ich slouþe cleopede.

    Selections from early Middle English, 1130-1250 Part I: Texts Joseph Hall

  • Deciding, on a whim, to visit the Zoo, she runs into her old friend Professor "Badger" Badgecumbe, and they go and look at the echidna, a hideous creature who is the incarnation of accidie.

    Mrs. Miniver 1939

  • Five minutes of weeding routs accidie, and "provides an incentive to be in the open air without the intolerable necessity for striking, coaxing, pursuing or intercepting any kind, shape or size of ball ..."

    Try Anything Twice 1938

  • The mental and spiritual accidie which had been enveloping me for nearly a year dropped off me like a cloak.

    Try Anything Twice 1938

  • The meridian demon was upon him; he was possessed by that bored and hopeless post-prandial melancholy which the coenobites of old knew and feared under the name of "accidie."

    Crome Yellow Aldous Huxley 1928


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  • Citation on coenobite.

    March 29, 2008

  • Metapsychology: 'The eleven papers in this collection are concerned with practical reasoning, or reasoning about what to do. In particular, they address issues connected with a number of ways in which practical reasoning can go wrong. These include various aspects of akrasia (acting in a way you judge not to be best), failing to act in accordance with your resolutions (what Richard Holton calls weakness of will and distinguishes from the traditional understanding of akrasia), accidie (failing to be motivated by your value judgments), the role of emotions in practical reasoning, and prudence (whether we should take account of our future desires).'

    November 12, 2008

  • A state of listlessness or torpor, of not caring or not being concerned with one's position or condition in the world.

    May 3, 2011

  • From p. 15 of Patrick Leigh Fermor's "A Time to Keep Silence":

    Having finished a flask of Calvados, which I had bought in Rouen, I sat at my desk in a condition of overwhelming gloom and accidie.

    January 21, 2014