perfunctory [per-fuhngk-tuh-ree] SynonymsExamplesWord Origin adjective

  1. performed merely as a routine duty; hasty and superficial: perfunctory courtesy.
  2. lacking interest, care, or enthusiasm; indifferent or apathetic: In his lectures he reveals himself to be merely a perfunctory speaker.

Origin of perfunctory 1575–85; Late Latin perfūnctōrius negligent, superficial, derivative of perfungī to do one’s job, be done, equivalent to per- per- + fung-, base of fungī to perform, function + -tōrius -tory1 Related formsper·func·to·ri·ly, adverbper·func·to·ri·ness, nounSynonyms for perfunctory 1, 2. negligent, heedless, thoughtless, uninterested.Antonyms for perfunctory 1, 2. careful, diligent. Examples from the Web for perfunctoriness Historical Examples of perfunctoriness

  • She greeted him with a like perfunctoriness and introduced him to Miss Belthorp.

    Happy Pollyooly

    Edgar Jepson

  • Lee could not escape that feeling of perfunctoriness in her twitter of talk.

    The Iron Furrow

    George C. Shedd

  • It is not difficult to trace signs of fatigue and perfunctoriness in the later works of its representatives.

    The Russian Opera

    Rosa Newmarch

  • Though she talked so sweetly there was, Karen felt it now, a perfunctoriness in Tante’s remarks.


    Anne Douglas Sedgwick

  • Sylvia thought she perceived a new note in Edna’s tone, a courtesy, a perfunctoriness, that chilled her.

    The Opened Shutters

    Clara Louise Burnham

  • British Dictionary definitions for perfunctoriness perfunctory adjective

    1. done superficially, only as a matter of routine; careless or cursory
    2. dull or indifferent

    Derived Formsperfunctorily, adverbperfunctoriness, nounWord Origin for perfunctory C16: from Late Latin perfunctōrius negligent, from perfunctus dispatched, from perfungī to fulfil; see function Word Origin and History for perfunctoriness perfunctory adj.

    1580s, from Late Latin perfunctorius “careless, negligent,” literally “like one who wishes to get through a thing,” from Latin perfungus, past participle of perfungi “discharge, busy oneself, get through,” from per- “through” + fungi “perform” (see function (n.)). Related: Perfunctorily.

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