adjective lan·guid \ ˈlaŋ-gwəd \
|Updated on: 17 Aug 2018

Definition of languid

1 : drooping or flagging from or as if from exhaustion : weak
  • arms too languid with happiness to embrace him
  • —John Galsworthy
2 : sluggish in character or disposition : listless
  • proceeded at a languid pace
3 : lacking force or quickness of movement : slow





languid was our Word of the Day on 07/24/2018. Hear the podcast!

Examples of languid in a Sentence

  1. They proceeded at a languid pace.

  2. It was a hot, languid summer day.

Recent Examples of languid from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'languid.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

What Is the Difference Between languid and languorous?

The letter L holds claim to a payload of words in English that connote a lack of energy or enthusiasm. Two of them - "languid" and "languorous" - derive from the same source, the Latin verb languēre ("to languish"). "Languid" describes the kind of sluggishness that one often experiences from fatigue or weakness ("the illness left her feeling languid"). "Languorous" applies more to someone who just doesn’t feel the will to get up and do anything ("he felt languorous on a rainy Sunday afternoon"). There is also "lackadaisical," which implies a halfhearted effort given from lack of care ("lackadaisical seniors just floating along until graduation"), as well as "listless," which suggests a lack of spirit caused by physical weakness, dissatisfaction, or sadness ("she was listless for a few weeks following the breakup").

Origin and Etymology of languid

Middle French languide, from Latin languidus, from languēre to languish — more at slack

Synonym Discussion of languid

languid, languorous, lackadaisical, listless, spiritless mean lacking energy or enthusiasm. languid refers to an unwillingness or inability to exert oneself due to fatigue or physical weakness.
    • was depressed and languid for weeks after surgery
languorous suggests a dreamy boredom and delicacy that avoids unnecessary activity.
    • languorous cats lying in the sun
lackadaisical implies a carefree indifference marked by half-hearted efforts.
    • lackadaisical college seniors pretending to study
listless suggests a lack of interest caused by physical weakness or dissatisfied boredom.
    • listless hospital patients
    • listless children flipping through picture books on a rainy day
spiritless refers to a lack of animation or vigor that gives one's actions and words life.
    • a spiritless recital of the poem

LANGUID Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of languid for English Language Learners

  • : showing or having very little strength, energy, or activity

LANGUID Defined for Kids


adjective lan·guid \ ˈlaŋ-gwəd \

Definition of languid for Students

1 : having very little strength, energy, or spirit
  • a pale languid boy
2 : having a slow and relaxed quality
  • a languid pace



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


to oppose successfully

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet-pasta-spelling-help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Bee Cubed

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!