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I'm looking for a single word meaning "tired or fatigued in a good or enjoyable manner", as one would feel after a good day's work, or after some proper exercise. For example:

After a strenuous gym session my body felt enjoyably tired.

I've considered tired, fatigued, and worn out but they all seem to have negative connotations.

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Enjoyably tired is rather good. –  Andrew Leach Apr 23 '12 at 16:09
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We have pretty stringent requirements for single word requests and I don't feel this question meets those requirements. The example is good, but what words have you tried that don't fit right and why? Also, why do you need a single word? –  KitFox Apr 23 '12 at 16:27
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6 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Depending on how you intend to use it, you might look at:

languor (n.) tiredness or inactivity, especially when pleasurable.

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The colloquial phrase is, "I'm tired -- but it's a good tired."

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I would dismiss languor as wrong in the context given. In my experience, backed by the lecture of several dictionary entries, it's a tiredness stemming from the lack of the activity. One can't be in a state of languor after "a good day's work, or after some proper exercise", this would be mutually exclusive.

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It could be used when referring to the inertia or "laziness" following exercise, but certainly not during the exercise. –  Zecrates Apr 24 '12 at 13:03
    
I take your point, Zecrates, but I see it differently. I can't conceive of a situation in which I would use "langour" to mean "laziness, as a result of physical activity" - it implies the exact opposite. It's a somewhat poetic word best employed to describe the continuous state of lethargy, the lack of activity. I wonder what others make of it. –  dreamlike Apr 24 '12 at 13:28
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Exhausted, spent, and drained could all be used in a positive context, although I don't think any of these terms necessarily have positive or negative connotations in and of themselves. That is, one could always say, "I felt great but I was exhausted."

Then, there's always this term:

runner's high (n.) a state of euphoria experienced during prolonged running or other forms of aerobic, sustained exercise, attributed to an increase of endorphins in the blood.

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I'd say no to runner's high. That's something that happens during the exertion, and is (mostly) separate from how tired you are. OQ seems to be looking for that sort of pleasently drained feeling you get when the exertion is over. –  T.E.D. Apr 23 '12 at 17:55
    
@T.E.D.: Yup, I agree with you – it's no exact fit, which is why I prefaced with "there's always this term" (as opposed to something like, "here's the word you're looking for"). But at least it does have the usually-positive connotation, which answers half of the bill. –  J.R. Apr 23 '12 at 18:34
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Is the word you are thinking of "exerted"?

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Another few colloquial phrases are...

leg weary, bushed, shattered, footsore, weary, zonked, dead on one's feet, knackered

etc

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