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See also: lažy and лазы



Attested since 1540, origin uncertain. Probably from Middle Low German lasich (slack, feeble, lazy),[1][2] from las, from Proto-Germanic *lasiwaz, *laskaz (feeble, weak), from Proto-Indo-European *las- (weak). Akin to Dutch leuzig (lazy), Old Norse lasinn (limpy, tired, weak), Old English lesu, lysu (false, evil, base). More at lush.

An alternate etymology traces lazy to Early Modern English laysy, a derivative of lay (plural lays +‎ -y) in the same way that tipsy is derived from tip. See lay.


  • IPA(key): /ˈleɪzi/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪzi


lazy (comparative lazier, superlative laziest)

  1. Unwilling to do work or make an effort; disinclined to exertion.
    Get out of bed, you lazy lout!
  2. Causing or characterised by idleness; relaxed or leisurely.
    I love staying inside and reading on a lazy Sunday.
  3. Showing a lack of effort or care.
    lazy writing
  4. Sluggish; slow-moving.
    We strolled along beside a lazy stream.
  5. Lax:
    1. Droopy.
      a lazy-eared rabbit
    2. (optometry) Of an eye, squinting because of a weakness of the eye muscles.
  6. (of a cattle brand) Turned so that (the letter) is horizontal instead of vertical.
  7. (computing theory) Employing lazy evaluation; not calculating results until they are immediately required.
    a lazy algorithm
  8. (UK, obsolete or dialect) Wicked; vicious.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Nouns to which "lazy" is often applied: person, man, woman, bastard, morning, day, time, way.


Derived terms[edit]



lazy (third-person singular simple present lazies, present participle lazying, simple past and past participle lazied)

  1. (informal) To laze, act in a lazy manner.
    • 1842, George Cruikshank, Omnibus, London: Tilt & Bogue, p. 79,[1]
      “Go to sea,” muttered Mr. Unity Peach. “Work for your living—don’t lazy away your time here!”
    • 1884, Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, New York: Webster, 1885, Chapter 21, p. 183,[2]
      You’d see a muddy sow and a litter of pigs come lazying along the street and whollop herself right down in the way, where folks had to walk around her []
    • 1908, O. Henry, “The Memento” in The Voice of the City, New York: McClure, p. 239,[3]
      That same afternoon we were lazying around in a boat among the water-lilies at the edge of the bay.


lazy (plural lazies)

  1. A lazy person.
    • 1874, David Livingstone, The Last Journals of David Livingstone in Central Africa, from 1865 to his death, London: John Murray, Volume I, Chapter 7, p. 159,[4]
      The “lazies” of the party seized the opportunity of remaining behind—wandering, as they said, though all the cross paths were marked.
    • 1898, Jason E. Hammond, “Work and Reward” in Suggestive Programs for Special Day Exercises, Lansing, Michigan: Department of Public Instruction for District Schools, p. ,[5]
      The dudes and noodles, cads and snobs, had better move away,
      This busy land can’t spare the room for lazies, such as they,
      To foreign climate let them go and there forever stay.
      Ours is a land for busy workers.
    • 2016, Marta Bausells and Eleni Stefanou, “Meet the Greek writers revolutionising poetry in the age of austerity,” The Guardian, 11 May, 2016,[6]
      Which myth of the Greek crisis would you like to debunk? — That the Greeks are a nation of lazies on a permanent vacation; that austerity measures, as they were implemented, were proportionally distributed or worth the sacrifice.
  2. (obsolete) Sloth (animal).
    • 1716, Thomas Browne, Christian Morals, 2nd edition edited by Samuel Johnson, London: J. Payne, 1756, pp. 49-50,[7]
      To strenuous minds there is an inquietude in overquietness, and no laboriousness in labour; and to tread a mile after the slow pace of a snail, or the heavy measures of the lazy of Brazilia, were a most tiring pennance, and worse than a race of some furlongs at the Olympicks.


  1. ^ lazy” in Unabridged,, LLC, 1995–present.
  2. ^ lazy”, in Merriam–Webster Online Dictionary.