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Related to indolence: Sophisms


Habitual laziness; sloth.



(See also IDLENESS.)

bed of roses A situation or state of ease, comfort, or pleasure; the lap of luxury. This phrase and its variants bed of down or flowers were used as early as the first half of the 17th century by Shakespeare and Herrick, among others. The rose is a symbol of perfection and completeness, giving it more weight than down or flowers, which may account for why bed of roses is the preferred form today. The expression is often used in the negative, as no bed of roses, to emphasize the disparity between what is and what could be.

dolce far niente Delightful idleness, carefree indolence; relaxation, peace-fulness, tranquillity. Attesting to the great appeal of such a lifestyle is the fact that equivalent phrases have appeared in different languages dating back to the Roman writer Pliny. English use of the Italian dolce far niente ‘sweet doing nothing’ dates from at least the turn of the 19th century.

It is there … that the dolce far niente of a summer evening is most heavenly. (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Life, 1830)

live in cotton wool See INEXPERIENCE.

lotus-eater An idle dreamer, one who lives a life of indolence and ease. The lotus-eaters or lotophagi are a mythical people found in Homer’s Odyssey. Odysseus discovers them in a state of dreamy forgetfulness and contentment induced by their consumption of the legendary lotus fruit. Having lost all desire to return to their homelands, they want only to remain in Lotus-land living a life of idle luxury. Use of the term dates from the first half of the 19th century.

A summer like that of 1893 may be all very well for the lotus-eater, but is a calamity to people who have to get their living out of English land. (The Times, December, 1893)

woolgathering Daydreaming, idle imagining or fantasizing; absent-mindedness, preoccupation, abstraction; often to go woolgathering.

Ha’ you summoned your wits from wool-gathering? (Thomas Middle-ton, The Family of Love, 1607)

Although the practice of woolgathering (wandering about the countryside collecting tufts of sheep’s wool caught on bushes) is virtually obsolete, the figurative term is still current.

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.indolence - inactivity resulting from a dislike of workindolence - inactivity resulting from a dislike of work
inertia, inactiveness, inactivity - a disposition to remain inactive or inert; "he had to overcome his inertia and get back to work"
faineance, idleness - the trait of being idle out of a reluctance to work
shiftlessness - a failure to be active as a consequence of lack of initiative or ambition


noun idleness, slacking, laziness, inertia, shirking, lethargy, inactivity, sloth, torpor, skiving (Brit. slang), languor, inertness, torpidity, faineance, faineancy, languidness He was noted for his indolence.
"I look upon indolence as a sort of suicide" [Lord Chesterfield]


The quality or state of being lazy:
Informal: do-nothingism.


[ˈɪndələns] Nindolencia f


[ˈɪndələns] nindolence f


nTrägheit f, → Indolenz f (rare)


[ˈɪndələns] nindolenza
References in classic literature ?
His indolence was plainly exposed to her criticism on a gentle green slope.
Indolence and love of ease; a want of all laudable ambition, of taste for good company, or of inclination to take the trouble of being agreeable, which make men clergymen.
However, with the removal of financial pressure his natural indolence, increased by the strain of hardships and long-continued over-exertion, asserted itself in spite of his self-reproaches and frequent vows of amendment.
Born of industrious parents for a life of toil, he had embraced indolence from an impulse as profound as inexplicable and as imperious as the impulse which directs a man's preference for one particular woman in a given thousand.
To say nothing of their habitual indolence, by what contrivance within the reach of so simple a people could such enormous masses have been moved or fixed in their places?
The life of an Indian when at home in his village is a life of indolence and amusement.
He decided to omit them, and then, if the whole truth must be confessed, his indolence shrunk from the task of rewriting the three lost chapters.
If I, for his good, deny him some trifling indulgence, he goes to his father, and the latter, in spite of his selfish indolence, will even give himself some trouble to meet the child's desires: if I attempt to curb his will, or look gravely on him for some act of childish disobedience, he knows his other parent will smile and take his part against me.
Brooke's definition of the place he might have held but for the impediment of indolence.
In the next place, drunkenness and softness and indolence are utterly unbecoming the character of our guardians.
We rode slowly, with a pleasant sense of Sunday indolence.
Elinor honoured her for a plan which originated so nobly as this; though smiling to see the same eager fancy which had been leading her to the extreme of languid indolence and selfish repining, now at work in introducing excess into a scheme of such rational employment and virtuous self-control.