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Ennui

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Ennui (Pronunciation: /ɑ̃nɥi/) is a feeling of weariness and dissatisfaction.

The phrase mihi in odi est, meaning “I hate or dislike,” gave rise to the Vulgar Latin verb inodire, “to make odious,” the source of the Old French verb ennuyer or anoier, “to annoy, bore.” This was borrowed into English by around 1275 as anoien, our annoy. From the Old French verb a noun meaning “worry, boredom” was derived, which became ennui in modern French. This noun, with the sense “boredom,” was borrowed into English in the 18th century, perhaps filling a need in polite, upper classsociety.

Ennui is different from boredom in that ennui describes weariness or annoyance over a long period of time; boredom is relieved easily, while ennui is continual.

See also: Weltschmerz.

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