28 of the Best Synonyms and Antonyms for ‘Tired’

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University) Tiredness affects us all at some point. But how else can be express the feeling of being tired? There's a handful of well-known adjectives which work well as synonyms for tired , but there are other, less obvious synonyms as well. Below, we introduce some of the best synonyms – and antonyms – for the word ‘tired' in its various senses. ‘Tired' synonyms One of the commonest synonyms for ‘tired' is WEARY , which denotes a loss of strength brought on by lack of energy. This word is from Old English so has been in the English language for over a thousand years (thought to be related to the High German for ‘drunk' but also related to ‘wandering' or ‘going astray'). If you're excessively fatigued or tired out, you might say you're WEARIED , a (relatively) recent word which first turned up in the sixteenth century: T. S. Eliot's ancestor, the writer Thomas Elyot, provides the OED with its first citation, from 1538. Since we mentioned FATIGUED , it's worth pondering that synonym for ‘tired', too: in his 1755 Dictionary of the English Language , Samuel Johnson defined ‘fatigued' as being ‘exhausted with labour', and back in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries it appeared to be used tiredness that was the result of work, labour, or toil in particular. It's from a Latin word meaning ‘enough': if you're fatigued, you've had enough (it's the same root that ended up giving us words satisfaction and satisfactory , meaning you've had enough, but in a good way). If you're really tired, you might be described as EXHAUSTED , from the Latin meaning ‘to draw out': all of your energy has been drawn out of you and you have none left, as it's all been used up or expended. Curiously, the OED 's earliest citation is from John Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost (1667), so Milton often gets the credit for ‘coining' the word; as perhaps he did: And of their wonted vigour left them drained, Exhausted, spiritless, afflicted, fallen. Both DRAINED and WORN […]

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