1. Done routinely and with little interest or care: The operator answered the phone with a perfunctory greeting.
2. Acting with indifference; showing little interest or care.
[Late Latin perfūnctōrius, from Latin perfūnctus, past participle of perfungī, to get through with : per-, per- + fungī, to perform.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.