A lot vs. Alot: 9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[lang-gwish] /ˈlæŋ gwɪʃ/
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.
1250-1300; Middle English < Middle French languiss-, long stem of languirLatin languēre to languish; akin to laxus lax; see -ish2
Related forms
languisher, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for languished
  • Computer designers are realizing schemes that have languished on paper for years.
  • Cities with more foreclosures tend to have more resale homes that have languished on the market and are bargain-priced.
  • Yet for over a decade he has languished in jail awaiting a response to his plea for mercy.
  • He languished for five days in a cell isolated from other inmates, until his health failed.
  • Applications for licences languished in government files.
  • Prime pieces of property have languished, undeveloped, for decades.
  • The anthropic principle languished on the fringes of science for years.
  • The few astronomers who even attempted to look for them languished in obscurity, spending years in fruitless searching.
  • To make matters worse, the price of beans has languished for years.
  • The wonder is that he has languished in obscurity for so long.
British Dictionary definitions for languished


verb (intransitive)
to lose or diminish in strength or energy
(often foll by for) to be listless with desire; pine
to suffer deprivation, hardship, or neglect: to languish in prison
to put on a tender, nostalgic, or melancholic expression
Derived Forms
languishing, adjective
languishingly, adverb
languishment, noun
Word Origin
C14 languishen, from Old French languiss-, stem of languir, ultimately from Latin languēre
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for languished



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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