The concept being: Lethargy or apathy caused by a continuous cycle of dissatisfaction caused by disinterest from exposure.

The best way I can think to elaborate is to describe it as a state where you no longer care to strive because it is inevitable that the thing which you strive for will eventually no longer be interesting.

Similar to the Buddhist idea of sankhara-dukkha : "A basic unsatisfactoriness pervading all existence, all forms of life, because all forms of life are changing, impermanent and without any inner core or substance."

  • I believe the word exhaustion can convey what you want depending on what else surrounds it.
    – virmaior
    Feb 7, 2014 at 4:55

5 Answers 5


A word I've heard used to mean something similar is ennui. TFD cites AHD with

Listlessness and dissatisfaction resulting from lack of interest; boredom

Listlessness from the same source means

Lacking energy or disinclined to exert effort; lethargic

The definitions I find of ennui are more concerned with lack of, rather than cyclic over-exposure to, some stimulus. There is a synonym lassitude which TFD cites Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary as defining as:

  1. weariness of body or mind from strain, oppressive climate, etc.; listlessness; languor.
  2. a condition of indolent indifference.
  • Both of these words would fit the description perfectly. Thanks :)
    – Craig J
    Feb 7, 2014 at 16:26

Maybe "jaded" might express it?

jaded: made dull, apathetic, or cynical by experience or by surfeit http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jaded


world-weariness - feeling or showing fatigue from or boredom with the life of the world and especially material pleasures

Note that lethary and apathy are both somewhat different, in that they also strongly imply inactivity (or at least, reduced, reluctant activity), frequently with overtones of laziness.

  • I am aware that lethargy and apathy are somewhat different. I wanted to include the lethargic connotation of lack of energy as well as the apathetic connotation of lack of interest but at the same time emphasize lack of enthusiasm. Laziness is not included within the meaning of what I'm looking for. Laziness implies reluctance whereas I'm thinking of a state where the person is not lazy but rather they precede laziness by rationale that there is no meaning behind either choice of spending the energy or conserving it out of laziness. World-weariness seems adequate for this concept. Thank you.
    – Craig J
    Feb 7, 2014 at 2:40

Ad nauseam is a Latin term for a discussion that has continued so long that it has continued "to [the point of] nausea".[1][2] For example, the sentence, "This topic has been discussed ad nauseam," signifies that the topic in question has been discussed extensively, and that those involved in the discussion have grown tired of it.

  • This describes a single instance of becoming tired of something rather than the state of dissatisfaction with the cycle of tiring of things.
    – Craig J
    Feb 7, 2014 at 2:50


1 the feeling of being upset or annoyed as a result of being unable to change or achieve something


the feeling that accompanies an experience of being thwarted in attaining your goals

see also: despair, hopelessness, being fed-up

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