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 ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.