What does lukewarm mean?

Definitions for lukewarm

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word lukewarm.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. lukewarm, tepidadjective

    moderately warm

    "he hates lukewarm coffee"; "tepid bath water"

  2. halfhearted, half-hearted, tepid, lukewarmadjective

    feeling or showing little interest or enthusiasm

    "a halfhearted effort"; "gave only lukewarm support to the candidate"


  1. lukewarmadjective

    Temperature between warm and cool.

    Wash it in lukewarm water.

  2. lukewarmadjective

    Not very enthusiastic (about a proposal or an idea).

    The suggestion met with only a lukewarm response.

  3. Etymology: From lukewarme, equivalent to. First element believed to be an alteration of lew, from hleow, from hliwjaz, from ḱal(w)e-. Cognate with Dutch lauw, German lauwarm, lýggjur, ljum, ljummen and ly, lummer, Danish and Norwegian lunken, dialectal ljunken.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. LUKEWARMadjective

    Etymology: The original of this word is doubted. Warmth, in Saxon, is hleoð ; in old Frisick hlij; in Dutch liewte; whence probably our luke, to which warm may be added, to determine, by the first word, the force of the second; as we say, boiling hot.

    A dreary corse, whose life away did pass,
    All wallow’d in his own, yet lukewarm blood,
    That from his wound yet welled fresh alas! Fairy Queen.

    May you a better feast never behold,
    You knot of mouth friends; smoke and lukewarm water
    Is your perfection. William Shakespeare, Timon of Athens.

    Bathing the body in lukewarm water is of great advantage to contemperate hot and sharp humours. Richard Wiseman, Surgery.

    Whence is it but from this attractive power that water, which alone distils with a gentle lukewarm heat, will not distil from salt of tartar without a great heat? Isaac Newton, Opticks.

    If some few continue stedfast, it is an obedience so lukewarm and languishing, that it merits not the name of passion. Dryden.

    This sober conduct is a mighty virtue
    In lukewarm patriots. Joseph Addison, Cato.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Lukewarmadjective

    moderately warm; neither cold nor hot; tepid; not ardent; not zealous; cool; indifferent

  2. Etymology: [See Luke.]


  1. Lukewarm

    Lukewarm was a fictional character in the popular BBC sitcom Porridge. He was played by Christopher Biggins. Lukewarm is a rotund young man with a calm and personable demeanour, who originates from Middlesbrough. The circumstances that brought him to be in prison are unknown although in one episode he successfully relieved Mr. Barrowclough of his wristwatch, in a manner strongly suggestive of a skilled pickpocket. He is known to be gay, and has a boyfriend called Trevor on the outside who is a watch repairer from Southport; Trevor appears in the episode "Men Without Women". Lukewarm shared a cell with Blanco, over whom he would fuss a lot, especially when the elderly convict was due to face the parole board. Blanco did concede that, for all his fussing, Lukewarm did keep the cell nice and clean. Lukewarm is often seen knitting. Although he is a trusted friend and confidante of Fletcher's, he seldom becomes directly involved in his schemes, preferring instead to spend his association time observing the latest goings-on whilst busying himself with his latest knitting projects. He works in the kitchens alongside Lennie Godber and is an enthusiastic if notoriously untalented cook.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Lukewarm

    lūk′wawrm, adj. partially or moderately warm: indifferent—also Luke.—adv. Luke′warmly.—ns. Luke′warmness, Luke′warmth. [M. E. leuk, luke, an extension of lew, cog. with the A.S. hleó, the source of lee; prob. confused with A.S. wlæc, wlacu, tepid; cf. Dut. leuk, Ger. lau.]

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of lukewarm in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of lukewarm in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of lukewarm in a Sentence

  1. Ray Mabus:

    We're not lukewarm about the F-35 in terms of the need for it in the fleet, and the fact that it's going to form the backbone of our carrier air for a long time.

  2. Adam Green:

    One of the biggest points of skepticism that we hear from Sanders supporters and even lukewarm Clinton supporters is the question of whether she really meant the stuff she said in the primary, the next two weeks are a golden opportunity to make the answer apparent.

  3. Orson Welles:

    There are three intolerable things in life - cold coffee, lukewarm champagne, and overexcited women.

  4. Machiavelli:

    It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage, than the creation of a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institutions and merely lukewarm defenders in those who would gain by the new ones.

  5. Vijay Samuel Benjamin:

    For some, life is about "being Cool" while for others its about "being Hot". While there is room for both, we must avoid "being Lukewarm".

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