- to be or become weak or feeble; droop; fade.
- to lose vigor and vitality.
- to undergo neglect or experience prolonged inactivity; suffer hardship and distress: to languish in prison for ten years.
- to be subjected to delay or disregard; be ignored: a petition that languished on the warden's desk for a year.
- to pine with desire or longing.
- to assume an expression of tender, sentimental melancholy.
- the act or state of languishing.
- a tender, melancholy look or expression.
Origin of languish
Examples from the Web for languish
Common sense, uncontroversial ideas tend to languish when attention has moved elsewhere.Dear GOP: Fix the Damn Justice System!
December 7, 2014
Some of the authors most revered by their contemporaries now languish in relative obscurity.The Birth of the Novel
November 27, 2014
Critical journalists continue to languish in prison and inside the courtrooms the breadth of the clampdown is on full display.Egypt Prepares to Anoint a Dictator and Call it an Election
May 21, 2014
They see people just like them being elevated quickly to power while they languish, and they become envious.What’s At Stake In The Tocqueville/Piketty Debate
April 27, 2014
They will be abandoned to languish and rot in “gulags” in Russia.Russia’s Adoption Ban Is Cruel and Vindictive to All
Dr. Jane Aronson
December 29, 2012
No, Plautus did not allow his public to languish for want of noise.The Dramatic Values in Plautus
Wilton Wallace Blancke
He regards them as vermin to be left to languish and die of their festering wounds.Captain Blood
Supposing a frog were to come along and languish for my kind of legs.The Adventures of Maya the Bee
They are brought from Shanghai, and, as a rule, they languish and die in a few months.The Philippine Islands
It will languish and perish in the dry sunlight of open discussion.The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice
- to lose or diminish in strength or energy
- (often foll by for) to be listless with desire; pine
- to suffer deprivation, hardship, or neglectto languish in prison
- to put on a tender, nostalgic, or melancholic expression
Word Origin and History for languish
early 14c., "fail in strength, exhibit signs of approaching death," from languiss-, present participle stem of Old French languir "be listless, pine, grieve, fall ill," from Vulgar Latin *languire, from Latin languere "be weak or faint" (see lax). Weaker sense "be lovesick, grieve, lament, grow faint," is from mid-14c. Related: Languished; languishing.