- 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.]