Definition of indolent in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɪnd(ə)l(ə)nt/


1Wanting to avoid activity or exertion; lazy: they were indolent and addicted to a life of pleasure
More example sentences
  • They didn't want any competition in the lazy and indolent stakes.
  • The workers are lazy indolent villains and the leaders are intelligent, hard working visionaries.
  • He has perhaps been as determined to realize his odd project as his proudly indolent subject was determined to avoid exertion.
lazy, idle, slothful, loafing, work-shy, shiftless, apathetic, lackadaisical, inactive, inert, lifeless, sluggish, lethargic, listless, languid, torpid, slow, slow-moving, dull, plodding;
slack, lax, remiss, negligent, good-for-nothing
informal bone idle
French archaic fainéant
rare otiose
2 Medicine (Of a disease or condition) causing little or no pain.
Example sentences
  • Prostate cancer is an indolent disease in most men.
  • In general, the prognosis is favorable and the disease is indolent, with a reported survival rate of 78% at 5 years.
  • Classically, prior to HIV or in the absence of severe immuno suppression, it is a fairly indolent skin disease.
2.1(Especially of an ulcer) slow to develop, progress, or heal; persistent.
Example sentences
  • Deep indolent ulcers also require local wound care and antibiotics.
  • Most patients are alive at last follow-up, suggesting that the lymphoma is indolent and has a slowly progressive clinical course and a favorable outcome.
  • The lesion typically has a very indolent course, which may span decades.



Pronunciation: /ˈɪndələntli/
Example sentences
  • I indolently let others decide what I will do instead of resolutely deciding myself.
  • She indolently sat up, goose bumps forming up and down her bare arms from the chilliness usually associated with dawn, and looked at the alarm clock beside her bed.
  • Of course it wasn't like Markus was being subtle, the way he was indolently wafting along, looking like he'd just been crowned Emperor of the Universe.


Mid 17th century: from late Latin indolent-, from in- 'not' + dolere 'suffer or give pain'. The sense 'idle' arose in the early 18th century.

  • It now means ‘lazy’, but indolent was originally a medical term, referring to an ulcer or tumour that caused no pain to the patient. This reflects its root, Latin in- ‘not’ and dolere ‘to suffer or give pain’.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: in¦do|lent

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