No big mystery here. It means that there is no shine or brilliance or that something is uninspiring. Often used in reference to performances and productions.

Yesterday’s match saw a lacklustre effort from the league leaders who spent most of the game on the defence and only had one chance at the opposition goal.


During the election debate the Vice President was distinctly lacklustre, giving brief and unconvincing replies and failing to inspire his supporters.

It can also be used to describe hair and I guess, by extension, aspects of grooming.

lacklus hair

It is not a word I use or have heard used much in spoken English and tends to appear more in reviews or reports but what I like about it is that it sums up a particular state perfectly.




As an adjective this word is quite commonly used to describe someone with a special talent or ability.

gifted player

Nancy is a gifted tennis player.

“We are young, gifted and black” sang Nina Simone in the sixties.

So far so good.  But what about its use as a verb?

I was gifted this watch as a recognition of my years of service to the local bowling club.

He gifted his wife a monthly pass to the local spa.


Researching on internet, the main dictionaries seem to acknowledge the existence of this use of the word but are reluctant to fully validate it yet.  Nevertheless, it appears to be used more and more frequently as a synonym for ‘to give’. There are many who criticise this usage but as one site said, there is a point to using ‘gifted’ if you want to emphasize the intention of giving the item as a present, rather than simply giving.

This looks like splitting hairs to me and while it is true that give is a perfectly good word, I suspect that using ‘to gift’ conveys a slightly grander intention and this is influential in its increased use.