Definition of acedia in English:



  • another term for accidie
    • ‘Faced with this situation, Smithson felt that the task of the artist was to cultivate a thoroughgoing acedia: ‘The artist should be an actor who refuses to act’ and ‘Immobility and inertia are what many of the most gifted artists prefer.’’
    • ‘The Roman Catholic Church, which, like Nietzsche, knows something about conviction, has a name for this apathy: acedia, which is laziness of spirit, idleness of soul.’
    • ‘R. R. Reno's connection of an overblown fear of suffering with acedia or spiritual apathy in ‘Fighting the Noonday Devil’ (August / September) gave me an ‘aha!’’
    • ‘Raposa takes the possibility of voluntary consent to acedia seriously, but he is more particularly concerned with boredom as a significant but ambiguous fact of the spiritual life.’
    • ‘Medieval English writers often speak of acedia as wanhope, a waning of confidence in the efficacy and importance of prayer.’
    • ‘I would, however, still be feeling something - melancholia or acedia, ennui, despair, nameless dread or another such psychic state historically lacking effective treatment.’
    • ‘The distraction is rooted in acedia, the ancient soul-scourge about which the church fathers knew and wrote so much.’
    • ‘Few of us who read habitually ever feel called upon to defend the practice-a kind of reader's acedia, an occupational hazard.’
    • ‘Stephens's various descriptions of indigenous acedia do indeed suggest that the people of Central America and Yucatan inhabit a different sort of time: lazy, circular, and stagnant.’
    • ‘If McKibben highlights pride and avarice, R. R. Reno contends that the most corrosive vice of our age is sloth, spiritual apathy, what the monks called ‘the noonday devil’ of acedia.’


Early 17th century: via late Latin from Greek akēdia listlessness, from a- without + kēdos care.