languish

[lang-gwish]
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verb (used without object)
  1. to be or become weak or feeble; droop; fade.
  2. to lose vigor and vitality.
  3. to undergo neglect or experience prolonged inactivity; suffer hardship and distress: to languish in prison for ten years.
  4. to be subjected to delay or disregard; be ignored: a petition that languished on the warden's desk for a year.
  5. to pine with desire or longing.
  6. to assume an expression of tender, sentimental melancholy.
noun
  1. the act or state of languishing.
  2. a tender, melancholy look or expression.

Origin of languish

1250–1300; Middle English < Middle French languiss-, long stem of languirLatin languēre to languish; akin to laxus lax; see -ish2
Related formslan·guish·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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British Dictionary definitions for languish

languish

verb (intr)
  1. to lose or diminish in strength or energy
  2. (often foll by for) to be listless with desire; pine
  3. to suffer deprivation, hardship, or neglectto languish in prison
  4. to put on a tender, nostalgic, or melancholic expression
Derived Formslanguishing, adjectivelanguishingly, adverblanguishment, noun

Word Origin for languish

C14 languishen, from Old French languiss-, stem of languir, ultimately from Latin languēre
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for languish
v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper