Definition of accidie in US English:



  • Acedia.

    • ‘However, a few months on Rousay cured him of the notion and he retreated back to London - ‘to accidie, ennui and bilious conversations in the Groucho Club’.’
    • ‘What is the origin of this nefarious Nebuchadnezzar, who would take away speech for chat, thought for instinct, righteousness for accidie?’
    • ‘Every Friday night, car stereo blaring, he and Dan would screech to a halt on the gravel, Dan sweet but quiet, Tim snarling with urban accidie.’
    • ‘What Karnezis is good at - no, what he's outstanding at - is evoking the yawning despair and accidie that crawl over his characters.’
    • ‘Possibly they are embarrassed because Elgar found judas, if not exactly a sympathetic character, at least one with whom he shared consanguinity in having suffered from the medieval sin of accidie.’
    lethargy, torpidity, sluggishness, inertia, inertness, inactivity, inaction, slowness, lifelessness, dullness, heaviness, listlessness, languor, languidness, stagnation, laziness, idleness, indolence, shiftlessness, sloth, slothfulness, apathy, passivity, weariness, tiredness, lassitude, fatigue, sleepiness, drowsiness, enervation, somnolence, narcosis
    View synonyms


Middle English: via Old French from medieval Latin accidia, alteration of acedia. Obsolete after the 16th century, the term was revived in the late 19th century.