• WordNet 3.6
    • n shiftlessness a failure to be active as a consequence of lack of initiative or ambition
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n shiftlessness Shiftless character or condition; lack of resource; inability to devise or use suitable expedients or measures; slackness; inefficiency; improvidence.
    • ***


In literature:

He is shiftless but not without human instincts.
"An African Adventure" by Isaac F. Marcosson
The superiority was accorded at once and without jealousy to Henry and the shiftless one.
"The Keepers of the Trail" by Joseph A. Altsheler
Rather lazy and shiftless, don't you think?
"Bird Stories" by Edith M. Patch
Mrs. Linken is a nice woman, but Tom he is shiftless, and he's bringin' up that great tall boy Abe to be lazy, too.
"In The Boyhood of Lincoln" by Hezekiah Butterworth
I answered that often it was because they were shiftless.
"Little Lost Sister" by Virginia Brooks
In the first place "those Days" had been looked upon as shiftless and of little account.
"The Mission of Janice Day" by Helen Beecher Long
Something might turn up, he reasoned, in the shiftless manner characteristic of him.
"Rufus and Rose" by Horatio Alger, Jr
They only poor, shiftless people, just blow it in on foolishness.
"The Huntress" by Hulbert Footner
Two of them were berating the Negro, saying the Negro was shiftless and lazy, and all that sort of thing.
"The Future of the American Negro" by Booker T. Washington
Natural selection will have its way: the shiftless and the lazy must go to the wall.
"A Pessimist" by Robert Timsol

In poetry:

Men called him but a shiftless youth,
In whom no good they saw;
And yet, unwittingly, in truth,
They made his careless words their law.
"The Shepherd Of King Admetus" by James Russell Lowell
"While I run over to Widow Brown's;
Her son, from the mines, has just got back.
I don't believe he's a cent in his purse,
Young men are so shiftless now, alack!
"Phoebe's Wooing" by Horatio Alger Jr
But while the desp'rate curse, while lewdness cries,
And shiftlessness ought justly to go bare,
Forget it not, full many a Lazarus lies
Before thy gate and needs a crumb of care.
"The Great Strike" by Albery Allson Whitman
But, in time, when other people
Populate this troubled world,
Lo, from housetop and from steeple,
Futile curses will be hurled -
Curses on the shiftless ones,
Feckless robbers of their sons.
"In Time" by C J Dennis
He knows you! "sportsmen" from suburban alleys,
Stretched under seaweed in the treacherous punt;
Knows every lazy, shiftless lout that sallies
Forth to waste powder— as he says, to "hunt."
"My Aviary" by Oliver Wendell Holmes

In news:

Mitt and those shiftless moochers.
Bike Shop Plays Santa for a Shiftless Journo'.