Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A state of sluggishness, inactivity, and apathy.
  • n. A state of unconsciousness resembling deep sleep.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Morbid drowsiness; continued or profound sleep, from which a person can scarcely be awaked.
  • n. A state of inaction or indifference.
  • transitive v. To lethargize.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A state of prolonged inactivity or torpor; inertness of body or mind; sluggishness; dullness; stupor.
  • n. Specifically, in pathology, a disorder of consciousness, which consists of prolonged and profound sleep, from which the patient may be momentarily aroused, but into which he quickly sinks again.
  • n. The hibernation or winter sleep of an animal, or any other state of complete repose, as a period of summer lethargy observed in many insect-larvæ, the repose of many tropical animals during the dry season, etc.
  • To make lethargic or dull.
  • n. Same as litharge.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a state of comatose torpor (as found in sleeping sickness)
  • n. weakness characterized by a lack of vitality or energy
  • n. inactivity; showing an unusual lack of energy

Etymologies

Middle English letargie, from Old French, from Late Latin lēthārgia, from Greek lēthārgiā, from lēthārgos, forgetful : lēthē, forgetfulness + ārgos, idle (a-, without; see a-1 + ergon, work; see werg- in Indo-European roots).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin lēthargia, from Ancient Greek ληθαργία (lēthargia, "drowsiness"), from λήθαργος (lēthargos, "forgetful, lethargic"), from λήθη (lēthē, "forgetfulness") + ἀργός (argos, "not working"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • An NPR commentator accented the second syllable, as if she were saying lethargic. I'd accept this from mere mortals.... but from NPR?

    October 26, 2008