Definition: Lacking enthusiasm and spirit; listless, languid.
“Lackadaisical” originates from the exclamation “lackaday,” an expression of regret, which in turn is a contraction of “alack the day,” – which itself comes from the Middle English “lack,” meaning sorrow, shame, regret.
A lackadaisical person is one who is prone to exclaiming “lackaday!” when things aren’t going his way, rather than doing something about the situation.
Why this word?
One could ask, “How is ‘lackadaisical’ different from the much-simpler ‘lazy?’’” Why does the English language have the need for another word describing a lack of interest? The key difference between the two words is that while laziness describes someone who dislikes his work and therefore doesn’t do it, the lackadaisical person is one who does not perceive a purpose to his actions. As opposed to a lazy person who wants to spare himself the effort of doing something that needs doing, a lackadaisical person is content to let life occur as it does. He feels no guilt about his inaction because he sees nothing wrong with it. There is nothing that needs doing; therefore doing nothing is quite legitimate.
How to use Lackadaisical?
Lackadaisical is slightly offbeat, a fun-sounding word. Using it is a great way to freshen up your vocabulary! It can be used to describe a person, an attitude, a manner. “His lackadaisical approach to the matter was appalling.” “The teacher’s lackadaisical attitude was what led to his firing.”