languish

verb
lan·​guish | \ ˈlaŋ-gwish \
languished; languishing; languishes

Definition of languish

intransitive verb

1a : to be or become feeble, weak, or enervated Plants languish in the drought.
b : to be or live in a state of depression or decreasing vitality languished in prison for ten years
2a : to become dispirited
b : to suffer neglect the bill languished in the Senate for eight months
3 : to assume an expression of grief or emotion appealing for sympathy languished at him through screwed-up eyes Edith Wharton

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Other Words from languish

languisher noun
languishingly \ ˈlaŋ-​gwi-​shiŋ-​lē \ adverb
languishment \ ˈlaŋ-​gwish-​mənt \ noun

Examples of languish in a Sentence

older people, especially, were languishing during the prolonged heat wave

Recent Examples on the Web

As the legislation languished, the lynchings continued. P.r. Lockhart, Vox, "By passing the Justice for Victims of Lynching Act this week, the Senate acknowledged its role in decades of racial terrorism.," 21 Dec. 2018 Now British co-living platform Vivahouse is angling for a piece of the action with its prefabricated units that can be built inside languishing offices, shopping centers, and other commercial spaces. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "‘Co-living’ in an abandoned mall? This startup is making it happen," 20 Nov. 2018 If most companies ace the profit test and their CEOs downplay the potential fallout from rising trade tensions, 401(k)s that have been languishing could get a boost as stocks move higher on the upbeat earnings news. Adam Shell, USA TODAY, "How 401(k) investors can profit from strong earnings season on Wall Street," 13 July 2018 While Mumia languishes in prison, the reimagining of Mill is underway. Stu Bykofsky, Philly.com, "Is Meek Mill the new Mumia? | Stu Bykofsky," 21 June 2018 The latter would be a big upgrade over the existing Mac mini, which has languished without an update since 2014. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Liveblog: All the news from Apple’s “more in the making” Brooklyn event," 30 Oct. 2018 What this means, though, is that Microsoft has finally found an immediate, easily understandable, practical use for the HoloLens—which, honestly, has languished somewhat out of the public eye. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft's Dynamics 365 Remote Assist finally makes the HoloLens useful for anyone," 18 Sep. 2018 But those who have fought for — and reported on — the theater have grown old while the Uptown has languished, its keepers fearing every severe storm. Chris Jones, chicagotribune.com, "Uptown Theatre will be restored: $75 million plan unveiled for grand palace on North Side," 28 June 2018 The rule, one of a dozen provisions in the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial law that sought to rein in executive pay after the financial crisis, has languished since it was proposed in 2015. Gabriel T. Rubin, WSJ, "Companies Must Disclose Executive Hedging Strategies," 18 Dec. 2018

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

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First Known Use of languish

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for languish

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

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Dictionary Entries near languish

languescent

languet

languid

languish

languor

languorous

langur

Statistics for languish

Last Updated

17 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for languish

The first known use of languish was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for languish

languish

verb

English Language Learners Definition of languish

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

languish

verb
lan·​guish | \ ˈlaŋ-gwish \
languished; languishing

Kids Definition of languish

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on languish

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with languish

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for languish

Spanish Central: Translation of languish

Nglish: Translation of languish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of languish for Arabic Speakers

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