lethargic

lethargic, sluggish, torpid, comatose are comparable when they mean being by constitution or condition physically and often mentally inert or inactive.
Lethargic usually implies either a constitutional or a temporary or pathological state of sleepiness or drowsiness that makes for slowness in reactions, responses, or movements, or for temperamental apathy
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bullfrogs, in a recent shipment, were quite lethargic . . . and reacted only when they were strongly stimulated— Giese

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gone is the lethargic atmosphere of an apathetic people, hopeless and helpless to direct their own destinies— Atlantic

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not all the industry of a Hercules will suffice to awaken the lethargic brain— Mencken

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but it was no lethargic calm; my brain was more active than everHudson

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Sluggish applies not only to persons but to whatever by its nature moves, acts, or functions; the term implies conditions which create stagnation, inertia, indolence, or inability to proceed at a normal or usual pace
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sluggish attention

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a sluggish pond

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a sluggish circulation

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a sluggish market for securities

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I want no sluggish languor, no bovine complacency. A phenobarbital philosophy does not appeal to me— Warren Weaver

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England has become unenterprising and sluggish because England has been so prosperous and comfortable— H. G. Wells

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Torpid suggests the loss of power of feeling and of exertion; basically it implies the numb or benumbed state of a hibernating animal, but in its more common extended sense it implies a lack of the energy, vigor, and responsiveness that one associates with healthy, vital, active beings
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memory was not so utterly torpid in Silas that it could not be wakened by these words— George Eliot

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still Richard was torpid; could not think or move— Woolf

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Oxford was torpid also, droning along in its eighteenth-century grooves— Brooks

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Comatose basically implies a being in the state of profound insensibility called coma that results from a disease (as diabetes or uremia) which spreads poisons through the system or from severe injury
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the almost comatose condition which had first supervened never developed into a fatal diabetic coma— Ellis

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In extended use comatose implies the stultification of extreme lethargy
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tales . . . guaranteed to shake the most comatose of readers out of the deepest lethargy— advt.

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Analogous words: inert, idle, *inactive, supine, passive: phlegmatic, stolid, *impassive, apathetic: *languid, languorous, lackadaisical, listless: *slow, dilatory, laggard
Antonyms: energetic, vigorous
Contrasted words: alert, quick-witted, *intelligent: *quick, ready, prompt, apt: responsive (see TENDER): *spirited, gingery, peppery

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Lethargic — Le*thar gic (l[ e]*th[aum]r j[i^]k), Lethargical Le*thar gic*al ( j[i^]*kal), a. [L. lethargicus, Gr. lhqargiko s: cf. F. l[ e]thargique. See {Lethargy}.] Pertaining to, affected with, or resembling, lethargy; morbidly drowsy; dull; heavy.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • lethargic — index inactive, indolent, languid, lifeless (dull), otiose, phlegmatic, stagnant, torpid …   Law dictionary

  • lethargic — late 14c., litargik, from L. lethargicus affected with lethargy, from Gk. lethargikos, from lethargos (see LETHARGY (Cf. lethargy)). Related: Lethargically …   Etymology dictionary

  • lethargic — [adj] lazy, sluggish apathetic, blah*, comatose, debilitated, dilatory, dopey, dormant, draggy*, drowsy, dull, enervated, having spring fever*, heavy, idle, impassive, inactive, indifferent, inert, lackadaisical, laggard, laid back*, languid,… …   New thesaurus

  • lethargic — [li thär′jik] adj. [ME litargik < L lethargicus < Gr lēthargikos] 1. of or producing lethargy 2. having lethargy; abnormally drowsy or dull, sluggish, etc. lethargically adv …   English World dictionary

  • lethargic — [[t]lɪθɑ͟ː(r)ʤɪk[/t]] ADJ GRADED If you are lethargic, you do not have much energy or enthusiasm. He felt too miserable and lethargic to get dressed. Ant: energetic …   English dictionary

  • lethargic — le|thar|gic [lıˈθa:dʒık US ˈθa:r ] adj [Date: 1300 1400; : Latin; Origin: lethargicus, from Greek, from lethargos forgetful, lazy , from lethe forgetfulness + argos lazy ] feeling as if you have no energy and no interest in doing anything = ↑lazy …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • lethargic — le|thar|gic [ lə θardʒık ] adjective lacking energy and not wanting to do anything: The hotter it became, the more lethargic I felt. ╾ le|thar|gi|cal|ly [ lə θardʒıkli ] adverb …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • lethargic — adjective feeling as if you have no energy and no interest in doing anything: The hot weather was making us all lethargic. lethargically / kli/ adverb …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • lethargic — adjective feeling depressed and lethargic Syn: sluggish, inert, inactive, slow, torpid, lifeless; languid, listless, lazy, idle, indolent, shiftless, slothful, apathetic, weary, tired, fatigued …   Thesaurus of popular words

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