Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “perfunctory”

perfunctory

adjective uk   /pəˈfʌŋk.tər.i/ us    /pɚˈfʌŋk.tɚ.i/
done quickly, without taking care or interest: His smile was perfunctory.Not paying attentionTreating as unimportantNeglecting and ignoring
perfunctorily
adverb uk   /-əl.i/ us  
The two heads of state shook hands perfunctorily for the photographers.Not paying attentionTreating as unimportantNeglecting and ignoring
(Definition of perfunctory from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of perfunctory?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Not paying attention, but you might be interested in these topics from the Attention and care topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “perfunctory” in other dictionaries

Translations of “perfunctory”

Word of the Day

bitter

a type of dark brown beer with a bitter taste

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More