Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

languish

play
verb lan·guish \ˈlaŋ-gwish\

Simple Definition of languish

  • : to continue for a long time without activity or progress in an unpleasant or unwanted situation

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of languish

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to be or become feeble, weak, or enervated b :  to be or live in a state of depression or decreasing vitality

  3. 2 a :  to become dispirited b :  to suffer neglect <the bill languished in the Senate for eight months>

  4. 3 :  to assume an expression of grief or emotion appealing for sympathy

languisher

noun

languishingly

play \-gwi-shiŋ-lē\ adverb

languishment

play \-gwish-mənt\ noun

Examples of languish in a sentence

  1. <older people, especially, were languishing during the prolonged heat wave>



Origin and Etymology of languish

Middle English, from Anglo-French languiss-, stem of languir, from Vulgar Latin *languire, from Latin languēre


First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with languish


LANGUISH Defined for Kids

languish

play
verb lan·guish \ˈlaŋ-gwish\

Definition of languish for Students

languished

languishing

  1. 1 :  to be or become weak, dull, or listless <“I don't feel good at all. I think I'm languishing …” — E. B. White, Charlotte's Web>

  2. 2 :  to continue for a long time without activity or progress in an unpleasant or unwanted situation <The innocent man languished in prison.>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up languish? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a jerking and twitching of the body

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

two-chairs-on-a-pier-by-the-ocean-in-summer

Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?

hiemal vernal brumal estival
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ