Definition of lethargy in English:



  • 1A lack of energy and enthusiasm.

    ‘periods of weakness and lethargy’
    [in singular] ‘she might have sunk into a lethargy’
    • ‘Better marketing techniques could help in overcoming this lethargy, and creating a bigger market, they point out.’
    • ‘I have sudden surges of energy and productivity, or lethargy and napping.’
    • ‘There is a tendency towards slouching rather than an upright composure and overall there may be a sense of lethargy or a lack of vitality.’
    • ‘However, today may be slow on the updates - there's a distinct air of lethargy about the place.’
    • ‘The end result is a state of lethargy interspaced with bursts of frantic energy.’
    • ‘A good breakfast is important for refilling our energy stores, keeping lethargy at bay during the morning hours.’
    • ‘Even worse, only a few people had picked it up, and when I shook off daylight savings lethargy at 1pm to get a copy, the display stand was still full.’
    • ‘Pardon my lethargy and lack of imagination as I continue my romp through our holiday snaps.’
    • ‘A typical Scottish fry-up will send them back into sluggish lethargy.’
    • ‘I'm getting a little concerned with my total lethargy.’
    • ‘He was particularly upset with police lethargy and lack of enough vehicles for night patrolling.’
    • ‘During the day, if heating is set too high, it can induce lethargy, poor concentration and fatigue.’
    • ‘A large meal before or during a flight will cause lethargy making it more difficult to cope with jet lag.’
    • ‘Feelings of lethargy and fatigue are creeping into my being.’
    • ‘The heat was swelling as the morning ticked on, filling the air with lethargy.’
    • ‘The first half was marked by total lethargy and an almost complete lack of chances.’
    • ‘Running on pure nervous energy, he was caught in the temporary lethargy that comes after great effort.’
    • ‘In spite of the general lethargy of teenagers, surveys show that most adolescents would like to be fitter.’
    • ‘Thankfully, I should soon be reaching the stage when the nausea and lethargy subside and I gain a bit more energy.’
    • ‘The chorus has that air of resigned lethargy and torpor which regularly lowers over those with little or no hope.’
    sluggishness, inertia, inactivity, inaction, slowness, torpor, torpidity, lifelessness, dullness, listlessness, languor, languidness, stagnation, laziness, idleness, indolence, shiftlessness, sloth, phlegm, apathy, passivity, ennui, weariness, tiredness, lassitude, fatigue, sleepiness, drowsiness, enervation, somnolence, narcosis
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    1. 1.1Medicine A pathological state of sleepiness or deep unresponsiveness and inactivity.
      • ‘Monitor for clinical symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, lethargy, edema, jaundice, and seizure breakthrough.’
      • ‘Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, lethargy and indifference.’
      • ‘Symptoms include vomiting, lethargy and frequently coma.’
      • ‘Symptoms include lethargy and disorientation, as well as life-threatening seizures and respiratory distress.’
      • ‘Some of the other side effects of the strong pain medications include confusion, lethargy and sleepiness.’


Late Middle English: via Old French from late Latin lethargia, from Greek lēthargia, from lēthargos forgetful from the base of lanthanesthai forget.