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Related to restlessness: insomnia, Restless Leg Syndrome


1. Characterized by a lack of quiet, repose, or rest: spent a restless night.
2. Not able to rest, relax, or be still: a restless child.
3. Having or showing a persistent desire for change or action: "A restless feeling of guilt would always be present with him" (James Joyce).
4. Never still or motionless: the restless sea.

rest′less·ly adv.
rest′less·ness n.


  1. Always fidgeting around to go, like a horse in an antbed —Elmer Kelton
  2. Fidgeted as though the skin on her back were as a plucked fowl’s in a poulterer’s shop window —Virginia Woolf
  3. Fidgety as a child —Richard Wilbur
  4. Fidgety, like a rabbit’s nose —or a commuter —Don Marquis
  5. Fitful as a cautery —Diane Ackerman
  6. I’m as restless as a willow in a windstorm, I’m as jumpy as a puppet on a string —Oscar Hammerstein II, opening lines for “It Might As Well Be Spring” from State Fair

    “It Might As Well Be Spring” is a particularly outstanding example of Hammerstein’s mastery of the light-hearted simile. The lyrics also compare a nightingale without a song to a feeling of discontentment, a spider to busyness and a baby on a swing to a feeling of giddiness.

  7. As impatient as a wedding dick —American colloquialism
  8. (It is a night like many another with the sky now a bit) impatient for today to be over like a bored salesgirl shifting from foot to stockinged foot —John Ashberry
  9. Pacing up and down like an animal in a cage —Elizabeth Taylor
  10. (Walking around) restless as a big animal in the lowering weather —Elizabeth Spencer
  11. Restless as a rolling stone —Anon
  12. Restless as sharp desire —Arthur C. Benson
  13. Restless as Ulysses —William Makepeace Thackeray
  14. Restless like a man running downhill who cannot keep on his legs unless he runs on, and will inevitably fall if he stops —Arthur Schopenhauer
  15. A restless mind, like a rolling stone, gathers nothing but dirt and mire —John Balguy

    See Also: MIND

  16. Seemed always looking for a place, like one who goes to choose a grave —Stephen Crane
  17. (Settled on the couch,) shifting and fluttering like birds in a nest —Peter Meinke
  18. Squirming as though bitten by bugs —Bernard Malamud
  19. Squirm like a country mule hitched beside the railroad track —American colloquialism, attributed to South
  20. Tossed all night like a man running from himself —Paige Mitchell
  21. Wriggling in her place, as if her chair was hot —Frank Swinnerton
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.restlessness - the quality of being ceaselessly moving or active; "the restlessness of the wind"
mobility - the quality of moving freely
2.restlessness - a lack of patiencerestlessness - a lack of patience; irritation with anything that causes delay
annoyance, botheration, irritation, vexation - the psychological state of being irritated or annoyed
3.restlessness - a feeling of agitation expressed in continual motion; "he's got the fidgets"; "waiting gave him a feeling of restlessness"
agitation - the feeling of being agitated; not calm
impatience - a restless desire for change and excitement
4.restlessness - inability to rest or relax or be stillrestlessness - inability to rest or relax or be still
nervousness - a sensitive or highly strung temperament
jactation, jactitation - (pathology) extremely restless tossing and twitching usually by a person with a severe illness


2. restiveness, anxiety, disturbance, nervousness, disquiet, agitation, insomnia, jitters (informal), uneasiness, edginess, heebie-jeebies (slang), jumpiness, fretfulness, ants in your pants (slang), fitfulness, inquietude, worriedness She complained of hyperactivity and restlessness.


إضْطِراب، قَلَق، عَدَم النَّوْم


[ˈrestlɪsnɪs] N
1. (= unsettled feeling) → agitación f, inquietud f
2. (= fidgety feeling) → agitación f
3. (= discontent) → agitación f


[ˈrɛstləsnɪs] n
(= impatience and boredom) → agitation f
(= fidgeting) → agitation f


n (= unsettled manner)Unruhe f; (= not wanting to stay in one place)Rastlosigkeit f


[ˈrɛstlɪsnɪs] n (of person) → irrequietezza; (of crowd) → agitazione f, nervosismo


(rest) noun
1. a (usually short) period of not working etc after, or between periods of, effort; (a period of) freedom from worries etc. Digging the garden is hard work – let's stop for a rest; Let's have/take a rest; I need a rest from all these problems – I'm going to take a week's holiday.
2. sleep. He needs a good night's rest.
3. something which holds or supports. a book-rest; a headrest on a car seat.
4. a state of not moving. The machine is at rest.
1. to (allow to) stop working etc in order to get new strength or energy. We've been walking for four hours – let's stop and rest; Stop reading for a minute and rest your eyes; Let's rest our legs.
2. to sleep; to lie or sit quietly in order to get new strength or energy, or because one is tired. Mother is resting at the moment.
3. to (make or allow to) lean, lie, sit, remain etc on or against something. Her head rested on his shoulder; He rested his hand on her arm; Her gaze rested on the jewels.
4. to relax, be calm etc. I will never rest until I know the murderer has been caught.
5. to (allow to) depend on. Our hopes now rest on him, since all else has failed.
6. (with with) (of a duty etc) to belong to. The choice rests with you.
ˈrestful adjective
1. bringing rest. a restful holiday.
2. (of colours, music etc) causing a person to feel calm and relaxed. Some people find blue a restful colour; After a hard day's work, I like to listen to some restful music.
3. relaxed. at rest: The patient seems more restful now.
ˈrestfully adverb
ˈrestfulness noun
ˈrestless adjective
1. always moving; showing signs of worry, boredom, impatience etc. a restless child; He's been doing the same job for years now and he's beginning to get restless.
2. during which a person does not sleep. a restless night.
ˈrestlessly adverb
ˈrestlessness noun
ˈrest-room noun
(American) a toilet in a theatre, factory etc.
at rest
free from pain, worry etc.
come to rest
to stop moving. The ball came to rest under a tree.
lay to rest
to bury (someone) in a grave.
let the matter rest
to stop discussing etc a matter.
rest assured
to be certain. You may rest assured that we will take your views into consideration.
set someone's mind at rest
to take away a person's worries about something.


n inquietud f, agitación f
References in classic literature ?
A great restlessness was in her and it expressed itself in two ways.
There was only--spring itself; the throb of it, the light restlessness, the vital essence of it everywhere: in the sky, in the swift clouds, in the pale sunshine, and in the warm, high wind--rising suddenly, sinking suddenly, impulsive and playful like a big puppy that pawed you and then lay down to be petted.
The figure of the bear appeared in the door, where it sat, rolling from side to side in its customary restlessness.
He believed he had found the clew to his restlessness.
All that did not tend to decrease her utter restlessness.
But it was a comfort that there could be no uneasiness in a connection with anything so beatific as the radiant image of my little girl, the vision of whose angelic beauty had probably more than anything else to do with the restlessness that, before morning, made me several times rise and wander about my room to take in the whole picture and prospect; to watch, from my open window, the faint summer dawn, to look at such portions of the rest of the house as I could catch, and to listen, while, in the fading dusk, the first birds began to twitter, for the possible recurrence of a sound or two, less natural and not without, but within, that I had fancied I heard.
And meet it is, that over these sea-pastures, wide-rolling watery prairies and Potters' Fields of all four continents, the waves should rise and fall, and ebb and flow unceasingly; for here, millions of mixed shades and shadows, drowned dreams, somnambulisms, reveries; all that we call lives and souls, lie dreaming, dreaming, still; tossing like slumberers in their beds; the ever-rolling waves but made so by their restlessness.
If he were working in a line of men, the line always moved too slowly for him, and you could pick him out by his impatience and restlessness.
The child suffered much from nervous restlessness, and it was a relief to her to be carried; and it was Tom's greatest delight to carry her little frail form in his arms, resting on a pillow, now up and down her room, now out into the verandah; and when the fresh sea-breezes blew from the lake,--and the child felt freshest in the morning,--he would sometimes walk with her under the orange-trees in the garden, or, sitting down in some of their old seats, sing to her their favorite old hymns.
They were suffer- ing sharp physical pain, of course; and weariness, and hunger and thirst, no doubt; and at least none had given them the comfort of a wash, or even the poor charity of a lotion for their wounds; yet you never heard them utter a moan or a groan, or saw them show any sign of restlessness, or any disposition to com- plain.
Vanity, extravagance, love of change, restlessness of temper, which must be doing something, good or bad; heedlessness as to the pleasure of his father and Mrs.
I could not help it: the restlessness was in my nature; it agitated me to pain sometimes.