Velleity

August 25, 2022

Velleity / noun / vel·le·i·ty

If you've ever had a strong desire to take action against injustice or an idea you believed to be unfair — without taking any further action, you're probably familiar with the experience of velleity.

Described as "the lowest degree of volition," the word velleity is a noun we use in English to describe strong wishes or desires to take action against someone or something that never comes to fruition. The hallmark of velleity is inaction.

In a Sentence

It's frustrating to be filled with so much velleity about a subject without no idea of how to move forward.

People liken the idea of velleity to nothing more than a dream or "wishful thinking" where they take no real actions to facilitate changes.

It's not always possible to discern the difference in velleity and magical thinking when we compare the two because both involve wanting to make things happen without doing any work.

Etymology

We derived the word velleity from Latin, New Latin, and Medieval Latin words like velle, which means "to wish or will. Velleity entered our language in 1618 with its current meaning, which depicts an internal desire or inclination to take action while lacking the willpower to carry it out.

Synonym

Volition, Wish

Antonym

Indifference, Disbelief

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