Definition of ennui in English:



  • A feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement.

    • ‘The books always had a point, even in their pain and desolation and ennui, he found comfort in their purpose.’
    • ‘The pain of living in this house with such ennui, such boredom for nine years.’
    • ‘Personally, I found it quite dull, but then I suffer from financial ennui.’
    • ‘But for those who are privileged to get their life extended forever, will boredom and ennui not set in?’
    • ‘So, shouldn't a fellow, consigned to years of ennui, be allowed the reading material he chooses?’
    • ‘He is portraying an English landscape of barren trees, a place of despair, ennui and fear.’
    • ‘I've met a few in my time and the defining characteristic they exhibit is a rather unattractive effortlessness and ennui.’
    • ‘One man's ennui is another man's earner, which is why we have accountants, cleaners and cooks.’
    • ‘Partly it's just a recovery attitude after a very busy month, but it's more than that; ennui perhaps.’
    • ‘The animals at the zoo seem to be caught in that some place in-between world weariness and ennui.’
    • ‘The thought of this weekend's coverage, and the doom-laden analysis which is sure to follow, fills me with ennui.’
    • ‘I managed to fight off ennui and squeeze out an analysis of sorts after all.’
    • ‘The physical environment itself is a crucial factor in the creation of unhappiness, ennui, anger, alienation and despair.’
    • ‘Schultz is a man facing old age and his looming mortality with a dim sadness that seems to complement his general ennui.’
    • ‘Temporary ennui or a more long-term change of direction?’
    • ‘But she went on to give a searing description of the ennui the work brings - broken only when the tea trolley arrives.’
    • ‘I think I had a lingering sense of ennui that wasn't helping me stay energized and positive about my job.’
    • ‘How can we overcome the general ennui associated with the thought of another incredibly boring day ahead of you?’
    • ‘It's the kind of ennui that ultimately affected his friend Vieira, who has been reinvigorated by his move to Italy.’
    • ‘When our children suffer from ennui, we worry that they lack stimulation.’
    boredom, tedium, listlessness, lethargy, lassitude, languor, restlessness, weariness, sluggishness, enervation
    malaise, dissatisfaction, unhappiness, uneasiness, unease, melancholy, depression, despondency, dejection, disquiet
    View synonyms


Mid 18th century: French, from Latin mihi in odio est it is hateful to me Compare with annoy.