intr.v. lan·guished, lan·guish·ing, lan·guish·es
1. To be or become weak or feeble; lose strength or vigor: crops languishing from a lack of rain.
2. To exist or continue in miserable or disheartening conditions: languished away in prison.
3. To remain unattended or be neglected: legislation that continued to languish in committee.
4. To become downcast or pine away in longing: languish apart from friends and family; languish for a change from dull routine.
[Middle English languishen, from Old French languir, languiss-, from Latin languēre, to be languid; see slēg- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.