This Week’s Word: Ennui
/ɑnˈwi, ˈɑn wi/ [ahn-wee, ahn-wee]
Ennui is best described as a state of boredom resulting from a complete lack of interest, but it is often used to connote that particular type of tedium that is a result of being completely satisfied (#FirstWorldProblems).
Synonyms: Boredom, lassitude, listlissness
Origin: Unsurprisingly, ennui is a French word meaning, you guessed it, “boredom.” Actually, the term has an interesting history; the Latin phrase mihi in odio est, which means, “it is hateful to me,” shortened to in odio was borrowed into Old French as anoier (v) and anoi (n). Both words survive in French as ennuyer and ennui, respectively. The former made its way into middle English and eventually became “annoy,” while the latter was borrowed into English in the late 17th century.
Sample: The writer enjoyed the success of his latest novel for a while, but one gets the sense that his failure to start a new project has left him in a state of ennui.
Sample 2: Lucretia tried not to stare at the clock, but the general sense of ennui that pervaded the office made Thursday afternoon interminable.