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
Proposals have languished in the legislature for half a dozen sessions.
For almost a year, Joshua Holt, a 25-year-old former Mormon missionary from Utah, has been languishing in a Caracas prison hoping to have his day in court.
James became ill in 1889, and died after languishing for two weeks.
Ultimately Aniello and Downs settled on Sony because the studio promised to make their movie rather than let the script languish in development.
On the other, poor defendants charged with minor crimes often languish in cells, unable to muster even modest bails.
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.
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 centurySee Words from the same year
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
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