languish

verb
lan·​guish | \ ˈlaŋ-gwish How to pronounce languish (audio) \
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 How to pronounce languishingly (audio) \ adverb
languishment \ ˈlaŋ-​gwish-​mənt How to pronounce languishment (audio) \ noun

Examples of languish in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

Apple’s return to its old, languishing product lines does not mean the company has run out of ideas. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Apple's New Macs Are the Ones You've Been Waiting on For Years," 30 Oct. 2018 Your scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) just trounced cities like Cleveland, Detroit and Baltimore who keep languishing near the bottom of national rankings. Patrick O'donnell, cleveland.com, "Vast poverty differences create unfair comparisons on Nation's Report Card," 13 Apr. 2018 Another victory for Real would be a perfect sendoff for manager Zinedine Zidane -- who is expected to quit or be pushed out at the end of the season given Madrid languishes 15 points behind Barcelona in La Liga. CNN, "Champions League: English clubs Manchester City and Liverpool paired in quarterfinals," 16 Mar. 2018 Spirit’s shares are up more than 25% this year, while most other airlines’ stocks have languished. Alison Sider, WSJ, "From Tardy to On-Time: Spirit Airlines Tries to Shed Old Image," 27 Dec. 2018 The report also said that Syria this year witnessed levels of internal displacement not seen before in the seven-year conflict, warning that a large proportion of those displaced currently languish in Idlib. Bassem Mroue And Jamey Keaten, Fox News, "UN says Syria's Idlib civilians should not be taken hostages," 12 Sep. 2018 And some transit advocates have criticized Mr. Cuomo for making sure that the AirTrain bill was approved as legislation to reauthorize speed safety cameras at New York City schools languished. New York Times, "Plans for AirTrain to La Guardia Airport Move Ahead Amid Criticism," 25 June 2018 Spare a thought for Tottenham Hotspur and England striker Harry Kane, currently languishing in second place in the race for the Premier League Golden Boot. SI.com, "Tottenham's Harry Kane Mocked by Arsenal Rival for Claiming Dubious Goal in Golden Boot Chase," 23 Apr. 2018 The company’s stock languished through early October, nearly matching its low point from the spring, as investors reacted to the settlement and news of the government’s increased focus on Tesla. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: Tesla," 29 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

28 Apr 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 How to pronounce languish (audio) \
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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