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in·cum·bent      [in-kuhm-buhnt] Pronunciation KeyShow IPA Pronunciation


1. holding an indicated position, role, office, etc., currently: the incumbent officers of the club.
2. obligatory (often fol. by on or upon): a duty incumbent upon me.
3. Archaic. resting, lying, leaning, or pressing on something: incumbent upon the cool grass.


4. the holder of an office: The incumbent was challenged by a fusion candidate.
5. British. a person who holds an ecclesiastical benefice.

[Origin: 1375–1425; late ME (n.) < L incumbent- (s. of incumbéns prp. of incumbere to lie or lean upon, equiv. to in- in-2 + cumb- (nasalized var. of cub- sit, lie; see incubus) + -ent- -ent]

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.


  1. listlessness, boredom.
  2. melancholia, depression.


  • 1956 — Arthur C. Clarke, The City and the Stars, p 44
    Sympathy, for one whose loneliness must be even greater than his own; an ennui produced by ages of repetition; and an impish sense of fun—these were the discordant factors that prompted Khedron to act.
  • 1990 — Terry Pratchett, Eric, p 165
    Now and again screams of ennui rose from between the potted plants, but mainly there was the terrible numbing silence of the human brain being reduced to cream cheese from the inside out.


Japanese: つれづれ (tsurezure)

Related Terms

  • ennuyer
  • ennuyeux


  1. (dated or literary) Happy, cheerful.
  2. Indifferent, careless, showing a lack of concern.
    She had a blithe disregard of cultures outside the United States.





  1. of, or relating to symbiosis; living together, often for mutual benefit. adj



  1. a feeling of general bodily discomfort or unpleasantness, often at the onset of illness
  2. an ambiguous feeling of mental or moral depression


  • doldrums
  • melancholy
  • unease



Compunction (plural compunctions)

  1. A pricking of conscience, a slight regret
  2. He pulled the trigger without compunction.


1897: I felt no compunction in doing so, for under the circumstances I felt that I should protect myself in every way I could. — Dracula, Bram Stoker


  • regret, remorse

See Also

  • contrition
  • penitence, penance
  • guilt


  1. Precisely meaningful; forceful and brief
  2. concise and full of meaning
  3. tersely cogent


  • terse
  • concise
  • laconic


  • Persona non grata (plural personae non gratae)

A person who is not welcome, especially a diplomat in a foreign country

  • Lumpenproletariat

The lumpenproletariat (German Lumpenproletariat, “rabble-proletariat”; “raggedy proletariat”) is a term originally defined by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in The German Ideology (1845), their famous second joint work, and later expounded upon in future works by Marx. In Marx’s The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon (1852), the term refers to the ‘refuse of all classes,’ including ‘swindlers, confidence tricksters, brothel-keepers, rag-and-bone merchants, organ-grinders, beggars, and other flotsam of society.’

  • Dystopia

A dystopia (alternatively, cacotopia, kakotopia or anti-utopia) is a fictional society that is the antithesis of utopia.

A dystopia is usually characterized by an authoritarian or totalitarian form of government, or some other kind of oppressive social control.


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