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zest +‎ -less


zestless (comparative more zestless, superlative most zestless)

  1. Lacking zest; passionless, unenthusiastic.
    • 1792, Robert Sadler, Wanley Penson, or The Melancholy Man, London: C. & G. Kearsley, Volume 3, p. 252,[1]
      There are moments, indeed, in which I could be pleased to repay even a zestless joke with a smile, and, to feed the cheerfulness of a companion, rummage my own recollection for a mirthful incident; but, alas! ’tis not so now—My soul is too much absorbed in its own gloomy ruminations, to be drawn forth by its accustomed urbanity []
    • 1865, Charles Heavysege, Jephthah’s Daughter, Montreal: Dawson Brothers, IV, (unpaginated),[2]
      [] So he passes
      To second childhood; but, as quickening gases,
      Being fled, leave zestless a once cheering draught,
      We grow not merry though the Dotard laughed.
    • 1941, James Hilton, Random Harvest, Boston: Little, Brown & Co., Part Four, p. 249,[3]
      As he descended the stairs he felt calmer, readier to do battle with the forces arrayed against him; and that made him feel a little warm towards the weak healthy boy who never did battle at all, but just drank and debauched himself in a bored, zestless way.
    • c. 1956, Martin Luther King Jr., sermon delivered at the time of the Montgomery bus boycott, cited in Dream: The Words and Inspiration of Martin Luther King, Jr., Boulder, CO: Blue Mountain Press, p. 81,[4]
      Courageous men never lose the zest for living even though their life situation is zestless; cowardly men, overwhelmed by the uncertainties of life, lose the will to live.

Derived terms[edit]