Definition: a feeling of utter weariness and discontent resulting from satiety or lack of interest; boredom.

Pronunciation: ahn-WEE or UHN-wee


This weary noun stems from the French enui that represented annoyance. It first appeared in the English language in the 1660’s as a borrowed French word, and is considered to have nativized by 1758, but here is what the OED reads: “So far as frequency of use is concerned, the word might be regarded as fully naturalized; but the pronunciation has not been anglicized, there being in fact no Eng. analogy which could serve as a guide”, so, perhaps not so nativized…

Why this word?

This needed noun was suggested by Rachelle Nones, thank you Rachelle!

This is a great word for you to have in your vocabulary and as Rachelle puts it- “it is a fancier way of saying I’m bored“; frankly, we get bored quite often, so we should have more words to describe this feeling!

How to use the word ennui?

Ennui is a noun representing boredom, weariness and dissatisfaction.

The ongoing lecture led to 3 whole hours of first class ennui“.

When the antiproton was discovered … it sent a wave of ennui through the physics community. Not that its discovery was unimportant, but on the basis of Dirac’s theory, everybody expected it” (Roger G. Newton, The Truth of Science, 1997)


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Written by Victoria Sheinkin

Victoria Sheinkin is a writer, content editor, translator and chief editor for Speaking three and a half languages, she holds two BAs from the Tel Aviv university- Communication and jounalism, English literature and linguistics.


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