- becoming languid, in any way.
- expressive of languor; indicating tender, sentimental melancholy: a languishing sigh.
- lingering: a languishing death.
verb (used without object)
- to be or become weak or feeble; droop; fade.
- to lose vigor and vitality.
- to undergo neglect or experience prolonged inactivity; suffer hardship and distress: to languish in prison for ten years.
- to be subjected to delay or disregard; be ignored: a petition that languished on the warden’s desk for a year.
- to pine with desire or longing.
- to assume an expression of tender, sentimental melancholy.
- the act or state of languishing.
- a tender, melancholy look or expression.
- to lose or diminish in strength or energy
- (often foll by for) to be listless with desire; pine
- to suffer deprivation, hardship, or neglectto languish in prison
- to put on a tender, nostalgic, or melancholic expression
v.early 14c., “fail in strength, exhibit signs of approaching death,” from languiss-, present participle stem of Old French languir “be listless, pine, grieve, fall ill,” from Vulgar Latin *languire, from Latin languere “be weak or faint” (see lax). Weaker sense “be lovesick, grieve, lament, grow faint,” is from mid-14c. Related: Languished; languishing.