Definition of ennui in English:



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

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