is there a word to describe one who doesn't try very hard? not someone who doesn't try at all, but one who does their work without much enthusiasm or perhaps with as much gusto as others.


4 Answers 4


I would immediately suggest slacker

a person who avoids work or effort

This person might also be described as half-hearted

without enthusiasm or energy


A word with particularly bad personal connotations is "underachiever"

Per Weather Vane, from Cambridge again: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/underachiever

underachiever noun [ C ] us ​ /ˌʌn·dər·əˈtʃi·vər/

a person whose performance is lower than you would expect, based on that person's ability


Someone might make lacklustre efforts.

The Cambridge dictionary gives the example

Britain's number-one tennis player gave a disappointingly lacklustre performance.


If you're looking for a neat, obsolete word, I just learned of slugabed, meaning

a lazy person who stays in bed late

It's not a precise word for your definition, but it's a colorful that gets across a similar idea. A slugabed most likely doesn't work hard either.

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