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languish

[lang-gwish] /ˈlæŋ gwɪʃ/
verb (used without object)
1.
to be or become weak or feeble; droop; fade.
2.
to lose vigor and vitality.
3.
to undergo neglect or experience prolonged inactivity; suffer hardship and distress:
to languish in prison for ten years.
4.
to be subjected to delay or disregard; be ignored:
a petition that languished on the warden's desk for a year.
5.
to pine with desire or longing.
6.
to assume an expression of tender, sentimental melancholy.
noun
7.
the act or state of languishing.
8.
a tender, melancholy look or expression.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English < Middle French languiss-, long stem of languirLatin languēre to languish; akin to laxus lax; see -ish2
Related forms
languisher, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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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

languish

/ˈlæŋɡwɪʃ/
verb (intransitive)
1.
to lose or diminish in strength or energy
2.
(often foll by for) to be listless with desire; pine
3.
to suffer deprivation, hardship, or neglect: to languish in prison
4.
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
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Word Origin and History for languished

languish

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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