Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for January 25, 2020 is:

lackluster • LAK-luss-ter  • adjective

: lacking in sheen, brilliance, or vitality : dull, mediocre


In spite of its owner’s hard work, the coffee shop was forced to close due to lackluster sales.

“Say what you will about the Cardinals’ record this season, but they’ve shown fight and played with effort all year other than a lackluster performance during a 34–7 blowout by the Rams.” — Bob McManaman, The Arizona Republic, 18 Dec. 2019

Did you know?

In its earliest uses, lackluster (also spelled lacklustre) usually described eyes that were dull or lacking in brightness, as in “a lackluster stare.” Later, it came to describe other things whose sheen had been removed; Charles Dickens, in his 1844 novel Martin Chuzzlewit, writes of the faded image of the dragon on the sign outside a village alehouse: “many a wintry storm of rain, snow, sleet, and hail, had changed his colour from a gaudy blue to a faint lack-lustre shade of grey.” In addition to “a glow or sheen,” luster can refer to a superficial attractiveness or appearance of excellence; it follows then that lackluster is often used as a synonym for unspectacular.

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