What does languish mean?

Definitions for languish
ˈlæŋ gwɪʃlan·guish

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word languish.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. pine away, waste, languishverb

    lose vigor, health, or flesh, as through grief

    "After her husband died, she just pined away"

  2. ache, yearn, yen, pine, languishverb

    have a desire for something or someone who is not present

    "She ached for a cigarette"; "I am pining for my lover"

  3. languish, fadeverb

    become feeble

    "The prisoner has be languishing for years in the dungeon"


  1. Languishverb

    To assume an expression of weariness or tender grief, appealing for sympathy. Tennyson.3. To be neglected and unattended to; as, the proposal languished on the director's desk for months.


  1. languishverb

    To lose strength and become weak; to be in a state of weakness or sickness.

  2. languishverb

    To pine away in longing for something; to have low spirits, especially from lovesickness.

    He languished without his girlfriend

  3. languishverb

    To live in miserable or disheartening conditions.

    He languished in prison for years

  4. languishverb

    To be neglected; to make little progress, be unsuccessful.

    The case languished for years before coming to trial.

  5. languishverb

    To make weak; to weaken, devastate.

  6. languishverb

    To affect a languid air, especially disingenuously.

  7. Etymology: From the participle stem of and languir, from languire, alteration of languere. Compare languor.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Languishnoun

    Soft appearance.

    Etymology: from the verb.

    And the blue languish of soft Allia’s eye. Alexander Pope.

    Then forth he walks,
    Beneath the trembling languish of her beam,
    With soften’d soul. James Thomson, Spring, l. 1035.

  2. To Languishverb

    Etymology: languir, French; langueo, Latin.

    Let her languish
    A drop of blood a-day; and, being aged,
    Die of this folly. William Shakespeare, Cymbeline.

    We and our fathers do languish of such diseases. 2 Esdr.

    What can we expect, but that her languishings should end in death. Decay of Piety.

    His sorrows bore him off; and softly laid
    His languish’d limbs upon his homely bed. John Dryden, Æn.

    The troops with hate inspir’d,
    Their darts with clamour at a distance drive,
    And only keep the languish’d war alive. John Dryden, Æn.

    What man who knows
    What woman is, yea, what she cannot chuse
    But must be, will his free hours languish out
    For assur’d bondage. William Shakespeare, Cymbeline.

    The land shall mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein languish. Hos. iv. 3.

    I have been talking with a suitor here,
    A man that languishes in your displeasure. William Shakespeare, Othello.

    I was about fifteen when I took the liberty to chuse for myself, and have ever since languished under the displeasure of an inexorable father. Joseph Addison, Spectator, №. 181.

    Let Leonora consider, that, at the very time in which she languishes for the loss of her deceased lover, there are persons just perishing in a shipwreck. Joseph Addison, Spect. №. 163.

    What poems think you soft, and to be read
    With languishing regards, and bending head? Dryden.


  1. languish

    To languish is to suffer from being forced to remain in an unpleasant situation or place, or to become weak or fail to make progress, often due to lack of attention, nourishment or support. It also refers to experiencing prolonged physical, mental, or emotional suffering.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Languishverb

    to become languid or weak; to lose strength or animation; to be or become dull, feeble or spiritless; to pine away; to wither or fade

  2. Languishverb

    to assume an expression of weariness or tender grief, appealing for sympathy

  3. Languishverb

    to cause to droop or pine

  4. Languishnoun

    see Languishiment

  5. Etymology: [OE. languishen, languissen, F. languir, L. languere; cf. Gr. to slacken, slack, Icel. lakra to lag behind; prob. akin to E. lag, lax, and perh. to E. slack. See -ish.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Languish

    lang′gwish, v.i. to become languid or enfeebled: to lose strength and animation: to pine: to become dull, as of trade.—n. (Shak.) languishment.—adjs. Lang′uished, sunken in languor; Lang′uishing, expressive of languor, or merely sentimental emotion.—adv. Lang′uishingly.—n. Lang′uishment, the act or state of languishing: tenderness of look. [Fr. languir, languiss-,—L. languescĕrelanguēre, to be faint.]

Matched Categories

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of languish in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of languish in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of languish in a Sentence

  1. Natasha Alexenko:

    The thought of even being in the same room as those people gives me goose bumps. I'd burst into tears of gratitude, how can you begin to say thank you for that? And what an insult to that ingenuity that we're just letting these kits languish.

  2. Megan Crandall:

    In no way is there any intention whatsoever to let this languish, our intention is to move forward with as much alacrity as possible.

  3. Sheriff Brad Swain:

    There was grazing ability outside the barn. However, they were left to languish within their stalls from what it appears to be.

  4. Pete Mercurio:

    She was able to make quick decisions to place that baby in a pre-adoptive home as quickly as possible, so he didn't languish in the system.

  5. Ritchie Torres:

    We can let children languish in povertythat's going to haunt them for the rest of their lives orwe can give them a fighting chance, i prefer the latter, but that's a value judgment.

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Translations for languish

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • llanguirCatalan, Valencian
  • zeslábnout, živořitCzech
  • trættesDanish
  • dahinsiechen, ermatten, schmachtenGerman
  • εξασθενώGreek
  • velkiEsperanto
  • estancarse, periclitar, atascarse, languidecer, sufrir, debilitarse, enredarse, desperecer, marchitar, atrofiar, ir tirando, decaerSpanish
  • nääntyä, räytyä, riutua, roikkua, kitua, viruaFinnish
  • stagner, [[devenir]] [[étique]], péricliter, marquer le pas, mourir, se rabougrir, vivoter, patauger, [[traîner]] [[une]] [[misérable]] [[éxistence]], languir, décliner, piétiner, se cachectiser, dépérirFrench
  • տկարանալ, թախծել, տանջվել, թառամել, ուժից ընկնել, հյուծվել, թուլանալ, ուժասպառ լինելArmenian
  • langorarIdo
  • segnare il passo, stagnare, intristire, vivachiareItalian
  • 惨めに暮らす, 元気がなくなるJapanese
  • smachten, wegkwijnenDutch
  • definharPortuguese
  • увядать, [[влачить]] [[жалкий, прозябать, чахнуть, томиться, тосковать, тянуться, изнывать, слабетьRussian
  • lëngojAlbanian
  • försmäkta, tyna bortSwedish
  • sürünmek, durgunlaşmak, gevşemekTurkish
  • 憔悴Chinese

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"languish." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 24 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/languish>.

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