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disinclination to activity or exertion
The lazy are always wanting to do something. ~ Marquis de Vauvenargues

Laziness (also called indolence) is a disinclination to activity or exertion despite having the ability to do so.


  • As a confirmed melancholic, I can testify that the best and maybe only antidote for melancholia is action. However, like most melancholics, I suffer also from sloth.
    • Edward Abbey, A Voice Crying in the Wilderness (Vox Clamantis in Deserto) (1990)
  • Absence of occupation is not rest,
    A mind quite vacant is a mind distressed.
  • An idler is a watch that wants both hands;
    As useless when it goes as when it stands.
  • Idlers seem to be a special class for whom nothing can be planned, plead as one will with them – their only contribution to the human family is to warm a seat at the common table.
    • F. Scott Fitzgerald, American author. From a letter to his daughter, Frances Scott Fitzgerald, July 7, 1938, The Letters of F. Scott Fitzgerald, edited by Andrew Turnball, pub. Charles Shribner’s Sons (1967)
  • Don't yield to that alluring witch, laziness, or else be prepared to surrender all that you have won in your better moments.
  • People standing on escalators And that is a testimony to human laziness!  I mean, the guy who invented the escalator is just, probably, kicking himself in the ass.  Do you think the guy made the escalator so people—and they're made like stairs—just so people stand on it so you go up and down?  You're supposed to walk on 'em so you get there faster.  You know?  And then people stand on there.  So every time I'm on an escalator, I'm just like, "Excuse me, pardon me, excuse me, pardon me…."  You know?  That's my pet peeve, right there.  And I'm gonna do something about it, and I'm urging you to do something about it!  Write your congressman, get a group together, get together, and—I think we can do something about this.
  • The greater part of humanity is too much harassed and fatigued by the struggle with want, to rally itself for a new and sterner struggle with error. Satisfied if they themselves can escape from the hard labour of thought, they willingly abandon to others the guardianship of their thoughts.
  • There is no such thing as a lazy person; he is either sick or uninspired.

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)Edit

Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
  • Indolence is the worst enemy that the church has to encounter. Men sleep around her altar, stretching themselves on beds of ease, or sit idly with folded hands looking lazily out on fields white for the harvest, but where no sickle rings against the wheat.
  • The passive idler of all men in the world is the most difficult to please. Those who do the least themselves are always the severest critics upon the noble achievements of others.
  • The idle man is the devil's cushion.
  • If you are idle, you are on the road to ruin; and there are few stopping places upon it. It is rather a precipice than a road.
  • Idleness is the great corrupter of youth, and the bane and dishonor of middle age. He who, in the prime of life, finds time to hang heavy on his hands, may with much reason suspect that he has not consulted the duties which the consideration of his age imposed upon him; assuredly he has not consulted his happiness.
  • An idle man has a constant tendency to torpidity. He has adopted the Indian maxim — that it is better to walk than to run, and better to stand than to walk, and better to sit than to stand, and better to lie than to sit. He hugs himself into the notion, that God calls him to be quiet.
  • Some temptations come to the industrious, but all temptations attack the idle.
  • Be always employed about some rational thing that the devil find thee not idle.
  • A good many people are complaining all the time about themselves, and crying out, "My leanness! my leanness!" when they ought rather to say, " My laziness! my laziness!"
  • I am not the only one that condemns the idle; for once when I was going to give our minister a pretty long list of the sins of one of our people that he was asking after, I began with, "He's dreadfully lazy." "That's enough," said the old gentleman; " all sorts of sins are in that one."
  • The worst idleness is that of the heart. Think of the condition and prospects of a voiceless, thankless, prayerless heart.
  • When you and I are inclined to nestle down in indolence and self-indulgence, God " stirs up our nests;" and bids us fly upward.
  • The only cure for indolence is work; the only cure for selfishness is sacrifice; the only cure for unbelief is to shake off the ague of doubt, by doing Christ's bidding; the only cure for timidity is to plunge into some dreaded duty before the chill comes on.

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