- The definition of languish is to fail to advance or move forward, or to grow weak.
- 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.
- 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 become slack or dull; lose intensity
- to suffer with longing; pine
- to put on an air of sentimental tenderness or wistful melancholy
Origin: Middle English languishen from extended stem of Old French languir from Classical Latin languescere from languere, to be weary: see languid
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
intransitive verb lan·guished, lan·guish·ing, lan·guish·es
- To be or become weak or feeble; lose strength or vigor.
- 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.
- To affect a wistful or languid air, especially in order to gain sympathy.
Origin: Middle English languishen, from Old French languir, languiss-, from Latin languēre, to be languid; see slēg- in Indo-European roots.
- lanˈguish·er noun
- lanˈguish·ing·ly adverb
- lanˈguish·ment noun