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She gave us menus and a perfunctory smile.
  done without much interest or effort — especially as when dispensing with a formality
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perfunctory perfunctorily
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  • She gave us menus and a perfunctory smile.
  • Her perfunctory apology did little to ease my annoyance.
  • ...and he read her disapproval in every perfunctory and unenthusiastic line of her letter.
    London, Jack  --  Martin Eden
  • He offered to accompany her to the hospital, but in a perfunctory way.
    Khaled Hosseini  --  And The Mountains Echoed

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  • He glanced perfunctorily at it, and shoved it in his pocket.
    Ray Bradbury  --  Fahrenheit 451
  • The journal entries become short and perfunctory.
    Jon Krakauer  --  Into the Wild
  • a feeble and perfunctory attempt to clear away some of the appalling mess of his study.
    Douglas Adams  --  The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  • At the house, Rasheed covered her with a quilt when she lay on the couch, but there was a stiff, perfunctory air about this gesture.
    Khaled Hosseini  --  A Thousand Splendid Suns
  • Some perfunctory clapping by the elders; and some loud shouts of "Frodo! Frodo! Jolly old Frodo,’ from the juniors."
    J.R.R. Tolkien  --  The Fellowship of the Ring
  • A rapid and somewhat perfunctory search followed.
    Agatha Christie  --  Murder On The Orient Express

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  • It will be perfunctory, since it’s clear he was trampled.
    Sara Gruen  --  Water for Elephants
  • A few shot perfunctorily at distant marks.
    Stephen Crane  --  The Red Badge of Courage
  • He smiled at her but it was perfunctory.
    Stephen King  --  The Shining
  • He perfunctorily thrusts them into his pockets, unconsciously decorating himself with the protruding ends of the chains.
    George Bernard Shaw  --  Pygmalion
  • Together they waged a perfunctory battle against the outrageous behavior of that place; against turned-over slop jars, smacks on the behind, and gusts of sour air.
    Toni Morrison  --  Beloved
  • The barn was empty when the horses turned into it and, after giving them the most perfunctory ministrations they had ever received from him, he strode up to the house and pushed open the kitchen door.
    Edith Wharton  --  Ethan Frome
  • He finished, and since there was no need to give any more than the most perfunctory thank-you’s, he nodded to the men on the stage, and the tall white man who was never introduced joined him at the door.
    Maya Angelou  --  I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
  • She could not be negative or perfunctory about anything.
    Willa Cather  --  My Antonia
  • They searched the house perfunctorily and found nothing except both the evidence of what they took to be extreme loneliness and a room full of beautiful dollhouses on the second floor, where they switched topics and asked him how long he had been building them.
    Alice Sebold  --  The Lovely Bones
  • The steer came up to him and made as though to nose at him and the bull hooked perfunctorily.
    Ernest Hemingway  --  The Sun Also Rises
  • Camila had intended to be perfunctory and if possible impudent, but now she was struck for the first time with the dignity of the old woman.
    Thornton Wilder  --  The Bridge of San Luis Rey
  • It was pleasantly peaceful until Petra put one of her blinding communications so abruptly that I bit my tongue. Rosalind screwed up her eyes, and put a hand to her head.
    "For heaven’s sake, child!" she protested.
    "Sorry. I forgot," said Petra perfunctorily.
    John Wyndham  --  The Chrysalids
  • And the guards who, when Volkovoi wasn’t around, carried out the frisking perfunctorily, now flung themselves into their work with savage zeal.
    Alexander Solzhenitsyn  --  One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
  • They had about them a perfunctory air, like men accustomed to caring for livestock.
    Cormac McCarthy  --  All the Pretty Horses
  • NICK (Perfunctorily) Yes indeed . . . very handsome.
    Edward Albee  --  Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
  • ...but their concern was only perfunctory since they were after all lookers-on and not partakers, and I noticed one or two glances exchanged, pitying yet scornful, which said as plainly as words, These are simple careless country folk.
    Kamala Markandaya  --  Nectar in a Sieve
  • He was invited perfunctorily every Sunday, but he seemed to know that he oughtn’t to come and always managed an excuse.
    Katherine Paterson  --  Jacob Have I Loved
  • Officially, it was my job to keep the ice bucket full and make sure the music was audible, but other than doing this on a most perfunctory level, I wasn’t exactly mingling.
    Sarah Dessen  --  Lock and Key
  • He gave us each a perfunctory greeting and...
    Jim Stovall  --  The Ultimate Gift
  • The agent had asked Serena the perfunctory question, "Did you bring anything back from Haiti?"
    Tracy Kidder  --  Mountains Beyond Mountains
  • Then we say perfunctory things about how good it’s all been and how we’ll see each other soon, and this is suddenly very sad to have to talk like this…like casual acquaintances.
    Robert M. Pirsig  --  Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  • The sheriff would make a perfunctory trip out, but instead of searching through the pines for the still he would sit on the porch until suppertime, and have some beans and cornbread.
    Rick Bragg  --  All Over but the Shoutin’
  • "...kindness to God’s poor. When you insult or injure the unfortunate or the unhappy, you insult Christ Himself and He will not forget, for they are His chosen ones." This remark is made in a casual and perfunctory voice and she slides on to order and chastity,
    Jean Rhys  --  Wide Sargasso Sea
  • MEEKER swears her in perfunctorily.
    Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee  --  Inherit the Wind
  • The young Dutch officer gave a perfunctory glance at their luggage and passports and announced in awkward, throaty English, "I hope you have a pleasant stay in the Netherlands."
    John Le Carre  --  The Spy Who Came In From The Cold
  • He made pleasant remarks and a few jokes, which were applauded lustily, but he knew something to the discredit of nearly every one of his guests, and was consequently perfunctory.
    E.M. Forster  --  A Passage to India
  • "Get back safe." his words are perfunctory, as if he’s speaking to one of his fighters.
    Sabaa Tahir  --  An Ember in the Ashes
  • Granted, this was probably the result of her own perfunctory attitude, but hey, whatever worked.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  The Longest Ride
  • With a perfunctory knock she stepped inside.
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Heavenly Fire
  • The reporter would sit the band down together, ask some perfunctory questions to us all, and then turn the microphone or camera on me.
    Gayle Forman  --  Where She Went
  • His handshake was sturdy but perfunctory.
    Dave Eggers  --  The Circle
  • ) These pat-downs were delivered by both male and female guards and ran the gamut from perfunctory to full-out inappropriate.
    Piper Kerman  --  Orange Is the New Black
  • My attempts to find them again were perfunctory.
    Farley Mowat  --  Never Cry Wolf
  • "Look up," he said perfunctorily.
    Patrick Rothfuss  --  The Name of the Wind
  • When his turn arrives, Werner throws the water like all the others and the splash hits the prisoner in the chest and a perfunctory cheer rises.
    Anthony Doerr  --  All the Light We Cannot See
  • The man in the suit that welcomed me in with a perfunctory pat on the shoulder wasn’t the president, but he appeared in nearly every memory that fired by next, ushering me onto stages in school auditoriums, outside domed state-capital buildings, in front of cameras at the centers of small towns.
    Alexandra Bracken  --  The Darkest Minds
  • But even though Mary Alice, like Leslie, will permit me to lay not a finger on any of the more interesting crannies or recesses of her incredibly desirable body, why is it that I am discomfited by the bizarre fact that the one thing she will do, though in a pleasureless and rather perfunctory way, is to whack me off hour after hour until I am a lifeless and juiceless stalk, exhausted and even humiliated by this dumb pursuit?
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • She gave a parting smile, but it looked perfunctory.
    Becca Fitzpatrick  --  Hush, Hush
  • He patted my hand in a kindly but perfunctory fashion.
    Diana Gabaldon  --  Outlander
  • Alan drank his tea, sweet and minty, as Salem did some perfunctory tuning of his guitar.
    Dave Eggers  --  A Hologram for the King
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Associated words [difficulty]:   perfunctory [3]
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