Use the noun desuetude to say that something is not active or not being used, like the desuetude of a neglected park, with its overgrown ballfields and broken playground equipment.

There are two ways to correctly pronounce desuetude: "DES-wuh-tude" or "de-SUE-uh-tude." It comes from Latin: de- means "away, from" and suescere means "become accustomed." So if people or things are not used — out of custom — desuetude is the result, carrying with it a sense of neglect, disrepair, and inaction.

Definitions of desuetude
  1. noun
    a state of inactivity or disuse
    see moresee less
    type of:
    inaction, inactiveness, inactivity
    the state of being inactive
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week