Moribund refers to something or someone that is near death or lacking vitality and is on the verge of extinction or obsolescence.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



dying, dwindling, declining, fading, waning, stagnant, lifeless, decaying


thriving, vibrant, flourishing, lively, robust, energetic

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun None
Verb None
Adjective moribund
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • The company’s sales have been steadily declining for years, and now it is on the brink of becoming moribund.

  • The once bustling neighborhood is now filled with abandoned buildings, reflecting its moribund state.

  • The old art form, once beloved by many, is now considered moribund, with only a handful of practitioners remaining.

  • The government’s outdated policies have led to a moribund economy, with little hope for improvement in sight.


The word “moribund” derives from the Latin term “moribundus,” which means “dying” or “about to die.” The term originally emerged in the field of medicine to describe patients who are in the final stages of a terminal illness and are expected to pass away soon. Over time, the word’s usage has expanded beyond the medical domain and has come to encompass a broader sense of decline or impending extinction.

As an adjective, “moribund” is used to describe things, organizations, ideas, or even attitudes that are in a state of decline or on the verge of disappearing. It often describes entities that are losing vitality, energy, or relevance. For example, we might refer to a moribund industry that has been superseded by more technologically advanced alternatives or a moribund tradition that is no longer practiced by the younger generation.

The word “moribund” does not have any suffixes, prefixes, or affixes that significantly alter its meaning. However, it does stem from the Latin root “mori,” which means “to die.” This connection to its root serves as a reminder of its original medical connotation.

The term “moribund” is frequently used in literature, journalism, and academic discussions to convey the idea of imminent demise or irrelevance. It evokes a sense of decay, stagnation, and the need for revitalization. When applied to various contexts, “moribund” can highlight the urgency of action or the need for innovation to prevent the obsolescence or complete disappearance of something.