Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



From Middle English leukwarm, lukewarm (lukewarm, tepid), equivalent to luke (lukewarm) +‎ warm. Compare Saterland Frisian luukwoarm (lukewarm), German Low German luukwarm (lukewarm), German lauwarm (lukewarm). First element believed to be an alteration of Middle English lew (tepid) (> English dialectal lew), from Old English hlēow (warm, sunny), from Proto-Germanic *hliwjaz, *hlēwaz, *hlūmaz, *hleumaz (warm), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱal(w)e-, *ḱel(w)e-, *k(')lēw- (warm, hot). Cognate with Dutch lauw (tepid), German lauwarm (lukewarm), Faroese lýggjur (warm), Swedish ljum (lukewarm), ljummen (lukewarm) and ly (warm), Danish lummer (muggy), Danish and Norwegian lunken (tepid), dialectal Swedish ljummen (lukewarm).


  • Rhymes: -ɔː(r)m
  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˌluːkˈwɔːm/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˌlukˈwɔɹm/, /ˈluk.wɔɹm/
  • (file)


lukewarm (comparative lukewarmer or more lukewarm, superlative lukewarmest or most lukewarm)

  1. (temperature) Between warm and cool.
    Wash it in lukewarm water.
    My curry is lukewarm.
  2. Not very enthusiastic (about a proposal or an idea).
    The suggestion met with only a lukewarm response.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 10, in The Celebrity:
      The skipper Mr. Cooke had hired at Far Harbor was a God-fearing man with a luke warm interest in his new billet and employer, and had only been prevailed upon to take charge of the yacht after the offer of an emolument equal to half a year's sea pay of an ensign in the navy.


Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.