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

It's 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. :)


10 Answers 10


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".

  • Jinx, owe me a coke. ;) Mar 14, 2014 at 22:29
  • You're four minutes late this time. :) Mar 14, 2014 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.


  • Thanks for the quick answer! I added the usage context to the question. Do you think lethargy fits that?
    – Chris
    Mar 14, 2014 at 22:03
  • In this case, fatigue is your best fit.
    – Cmillz
    Mar 14, 2014 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, 2014 at 22:05
  • @d'alar'cop Yes, the former. Due to too much work. I shall edit the question, I guess.
    – Chris
    Mar 14, 2014 at 22:05
  • @Chris Then I would definitely say that "fatigue" works for your need.
    – d'alar'cop
    Mar 14, 2014 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.


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 >


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.


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.


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.

  • 1
    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, 2014 at 1:21
  • 1
    not inertness. Inertness only says an objects is not moving. It doesn't say anything about potential energy. Mar 16, 2014 at 20:21
  • And the dearth of potential energy is precisely what the questioner seeks.
    – user68911
    Mar 16, 2014 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.

  • 1
    Laziness is a lack of motivation, not a lack of energy. Mar 15, 2014 at 9:33
  • sloth means lazy, you simply don't want to do it. But you still could be energetic. Mar 16, 2014 at 20:20

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

  • ennui has absolutely nothing to do with burnout.
    – virmaior
    Mar 15, 2014 at 15:57

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