AskDefine | Define acedia

Dictionary Definition

acedia n : apathy and inactivity in the practice of virtue (personified as one of the deadly sins) [syn: sloth, laziness]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /əˈsiːdɪə/


  1. apathy; a lack of care or interest; indifference
  2. spiritual or mental sloth; see accidie.
  3. boredom

Extensive Definition

In the Christian moral tradition, sloth (Latin: acedia, accidia, pigritia) is one of the seven capital sins, often called the seven deadly sins; these sins are called the capital sins because they destroy charity in the man/woman's heart and thus may lead to final impenitence and eternal death. Sloth is defined as spiritual and/or actual apathy or laziness, putting off what God asks you to do, or not doing it or anything at all. Acedia is a Latin word, from Greek akedia, literally meaning "absence of caring". Acedia can also lead to God's wrath.
Sloth can also concern wasting due to lack of use or allowing entropy, expanding into almost any person, place, thing, skills, or intangible ideal that would require maintenance, refinement and/or support to continue to exist.
Several religious views concerning the need for one to work to support society and further God's plan and work by doing so reflects that by not being active alone, you invite the desire to sin on its own. "For Satan finds some mischief still for idle hands to do." ("Against Idleness and Mischief" by Isaac Watts).
acedia in Czech: Lenost
acedia in German: Faulheit
acedia in Spanish: Pereza
acedia in French: Paresse
acedia in Italian: Accidia
acedia in Norwegian Nynorsk: Latskap
acedia in Polish: Lenistwo
acedia in Portuguese: Preguiça
acedia in Russian: Уныние
acedia in Slovak: Lenivosť
acedia in Swedish: lättja

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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