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What's a single word that can connote the concept of (or something similar to) "energyless-ness" (which, as far as I can tell, is not a word).

This is meant to be used in the context of burnout. When an employee is losing energy for "working too much", he/she is experiencing feelings of... [energyless-ness].

Thanks for sharing the richness of your vocabulary. :)

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lethargy?...... – d'alar'cop Mar 14 '14 at 22:00
Related: english.stackexchange.com/q/48016/8019 – TimLymington Mar 16 '14 at 13:38

10 Answers 10

up vote 15 down vote accepted

Exhaustion: the state of being exhausted.

Where exhausted is the state of having used all of someone's mental or physical energy : to be tired out or worn out (someone) completely; to be completely used up.

Exhaustion has the meaning of being completely "energyless", whereas words like lethargy and fatigue more closely mean "having little energy".

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Jinx, owe me a coke. ;) – Bradd Szonye Mar 14 '14 at 22:29
You're four minutes late this time. :) – Canis Lupus Mar 14 '14 at 22:31

Depending on the context, "Lethargy" may be a fit.


Similarly there is: "sluggishness", "listlessness", "lassitude" and "fatigue".

Surely one of these will fit.


In light of clarifications, FATIGUE is the word you seek.


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Thanks for the quick answer! I added the usage context to the question. Do you think lethargy fits that? – Chris Mar 14 '14 at 22:03
In this case, fatigue is your best fit. – Cmillz Mar 14 '14 at 22:04
@Chris I think "fatigue" might fit that.. depends if they are without energy due to too much work or not – d'alar'cop Mar 14 '14 at 22:05
@d'alar'cop Yes, the former. Due to too much work. I shall edit the question, I guess. – Chris Mar 14 '14 at 22:05
@Chris Then I would definitely say that "fatigue" works for your need. – d'alar'cop Mar 14 '14 at 22:08

To emphasize the lack of energy, use exhaustion. To emphasize the effort that led to exhaustion, use fatigue. For a more informal term, you can use burnout.

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If someone is losing energy that would imply that they do have some energy remaining. However if you want to convey total exhaustion, you could use the word, "spent".

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drained would be suitable.

to exhaust physically or emotionally < feeling drained at the end of a long workday >

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How about languor? http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/languor

  1. lack of energy or vitality; sluggishness.

  2. lack of spirit or interest; listlessness; stagnation.

  3. physical weakness or faintness.

  4. emotional softness or tenderness.

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You could try torpor:-


  1. sluggish inactivity or inertia.

  2. lethargic indifference; apathy.

  3. a state of suspended physical powers and activities.

  4. dormancy, as of a hibernating animal.

or the adjective torpid:-


  1. inactive or sluggish.

  2. slow; dull; apathetic; lethargic.

  3. dormant, as a hibernating or estivating animal.

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I don't know the way you intend to use the word "energyless-ness", but here are some words:--

powerlessness, inactivity, inertness, stagnancy, sluggishness, listlessness, stationariness, stillness, motionlessness, lethargy... ARSENAL OF WORDS EMPTIED.

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Thesaurus (from the- plus -saur): The oracular god-lizard of the ancient logophile culture. Said to be somewhat verbose in its pronouncements. – keshlam Mar 15 '14 at 1:21
not inertness. Inertness only says an objects is not moving. It doesn't say anything about potential energy. – Michael Martinez Mar 16 '14 at 20:21
And the dearth of potential energy is precisely what the questioner seeks. – user68911 Mar 16 '14 at 20:23

I like lethargic but that was already taken so the next thing that comes to mind is sloth.

reluctance to work or make an effort; laziness.

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Laziness is a lack of motivation, not a lack of energy. – David Richerby Mar 15 '14 at 9:33
sloth means lazy, you simply don't want to do it. But you still could be energetic. – Michael Martinez Mar 16 '14 at 20:20

If the lack of energy comes from a place of boredom, ennui is also a fantastic fit.

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ennui has absolutely nothing to do with burnout. – virmaior Mar 15 '14 at 15:57

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