AskDefine | Define ennui

Dictionary Definition

ennui n : the feeling of being bored by something tedious [syn: boredom, tedium]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • From ennui < enui < enuier (see ennuyer and annoy) < inodiare < odium


  • /ɒnˈwiː/ (RP)
  • /ɑːnˈwiː/ (US)


  • 1956 — Arthur C. Clarke, The City and the Stars, p 44
    Sympathy, for one whose loneliness must be even greater than his own; an ennui produced by ages of repetition; and an impish sense of fun—these were the discordant factors that prompted Khedron to act.
  • 1990 — Terry Pratchett, Eric, p 165
    Now and again screams of ennui rose from between the potted plants, but mainly there was the terrible numbing silence of the human brain being reduced to cream cheese from the inside out.
  • 1997 — Terrance Dicks, The Eight Doctors, p 256
    It was also known as ennui, the megrims, the blues, or the black dog. But whatever the name, the symptoms were always the same: listlessness, boredom, a sense that life was ultimately meaningless and futile, without point or purpose.
  • 2005 - Neil Strauss, The Game, p 59
    Women are sick of generic guys asking the same generic questions: "So where are you from?... What do you do for work?" With our patterns, gimmicks, and routines, we were barroom heroes, saving the female of the species from certain ennui.


listlessness, boredom
  • German: Langeweile, Apathie
  • Japanese: 無聊, つれづれ, アンニュイ
  • Russian: скука, тоска
melancholia, depression
  • German: Depression, Melancholie
  • Japanese: 憂鬱, もの憂さ, アンニュイ
  • Russian: тоска, хандра
Translations to be checked

Related terms



  • /ɑ̃.nɥi/|lang=fr


  1. boredom (state of being bored)
  2. pain, sorrow

Extensive Definition

Ennui is a word meaning general disinterest or boredom, or depression. It may also refer to:

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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