languish

play
verb lan·guish \ˈlaŋ-gwish\

Definition of languish

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 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

  3. 2a :  to become dispiritedb :  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 languished at him through screwed-up eyes Edith Wharton

languisher

noun

languishingly

play \ˈlaŋ-gwi-shiŋ-lē\ adverb

languishment

play \ˈlaŋ-gwish-mənt\ noun

Examples of languish in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples of languish from the Web

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


LANGUISH Defined for English Language Learners

languish

play
verb

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

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.



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to become worse as time passes

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