- An example of languish is a project that just sits on the shelf and never gets finished.
- An example of languish is a plant that is never watered and that gets sicker and sicker.
The definition of languish is to fail to advance or move forward, or to grow weak.
- to lose vigor or vitality; fail in health; become weak; droop
- to live under distressing conditions; continue in a state of suffering: to languish in poverty
- to lose intensity, impetus, enthusiastic support, etc.: a bill languishing in a congressional committee
- to suffer with longing; pine
- to put on an air of sentimental tenderness or wistful melancholy
Origin of languishMiddle English languishen ; from extended stem of Old French languir ; from Classical Latin languescere ; from languere, to be weary: see languid
intransitive verblan·guished, lan·guish·ing, lan·guish·es
- To be or become weak or feeble; lose strength or vigor: crops languishing from a lack of rain.
- To exist or continue in miserable or disheartening conditions: languished away in prison.
- To remain unattended or be neglected: legislation that continued to languish in committee.
- To become downcast or pine away in longing: languish apart from friends and family; languish for a change from dull routine.
Origin of languishMiddle English languishen, from Old French languir, languiss-, from Latin languēre, to be languid; see slēg- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present languishes, present participle languishing, simple past and past participle languished)
- (intransitive) To lose strength and become weak; to be in a state of weakness or sickness. [from 14th c.]
- (intransitive) To pine away in longing for something; to have low spirits, especially from lovesickness. [from 14th c.]
- He languished without his girlfriend
- (intransitive) To live in miserable or disheartening conditions. [from 15th c.]
- He languished in prison for years
- (intransitive) To be neglected; to make little progress, be unsuccessful. [from 17th c.]
- The case languished for years before coming to trial.
- (intransitive, now rare) To affect a languid air, especially disingenuously. [from 18th c.]