Definition of languish
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 dispiritedb : 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
languishinglyplay \ˈlaŋ-gwi-shiŋ-lē\ adverb
languishmentplay \ˈlaŋ-gwish-mənt\ noun
Examples of languish in a Sentence
older people, especially, were languishing during the prolonged heat wave
Recent Examples of languish from the Web
But even established plants tend to languish in summer heat.
Perry’s career languished after the wreck until he was sent to the Great Lakes during the War of 1812.
Their offense would languish through one of the worst stretches in club history.
Wonder Woman languished for years in development before Jenkins was brought aboard to direct from a script by Allan Heinberg.
Homes priced at $1 million or more are languishing as buyers and sellers lack motivation to complete deals, Caldwell said.
Texas' House let the issue languish for months, then on Sunday approved a more modest version applying only to schools.
His career began sluggishly, with one win in 10 starts while languishing on the maiden, claiming and allowance levels.
The legislation languished in the Senate, however, where a single lawmaker can hold up a bill.
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.
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
LANGUISH Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of languish for English Language Learners
: to continue for a long time without activity or progress in an unpleasant or unwanted situation
LANGUISH Defined for Kids
Definition of languish for Students
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.
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).