• synonyms


See more synonyms for languish on Thesaurus.com
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.
Show More
  1. the act or state of languishing.
  2. a tender, melancholy look or expression.
Show More

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

Related Words


Examples from the Web for languish

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for 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
Show More
Derived Formslanguishing, adjectivelanguishingly, adverblanguishment, noun

Word Origin

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


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.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper