Definition of ennui in US English:

ennui

noun

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

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

Origin

Mid 18th century: French, from Latin in odio(n-), from mihi in odio est ‘it is hateful to me’. Compare with annoy.

Pronunciation

ennui

/änˈwē//ɑnˈwi/