• Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Languishing Amorously pensive; indicating melancholy; as, languishing eyes, or look.
    • Languishing Becoming languid and weak; pining; losing health and strength.
    • Languishing Continuing in a weak or deteriorating state; lingering.
    • Languishing Suffering neglect; neglected.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • languishing Expressive of languor; indicating tender, sentimental emotion: as, a languishing look or sigh.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Languishing expressive of languor, or merely sentimental emotion
    • ***


  • John Gay
    “But his kiss was so sweet, and so closely he pressed, that I languished and pined till I granted the rest.”
  • Robert F. Kennedy
    “Whenever men take the law into their own hands, the loser is the law. And when the law loses, freedom languishes.”


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. languir, languiss-,—L. languescĕrelanguēre, to be faint.


In literature:

Under cover of the languishing lyric Miss Sparkes put her head nearer to him.
"The Town Traveller" by George Gissing
She was but fifty-three years old, and in spite of languishing habits, in reality had very fair health.
"Will Warburton" by George Gissing
Already Reuben was languishing in his zeal, when little Clarence had a sudden and alarming illness.
"The Emancipated" by George Gissing
Nasturtiums languished here and there, where some of the women had made an effort to fight the unresponsive red clay.
"Poor, Dear Margaret Kirby and Other Stories" by Kathleen Norris
I understood the value of her light caresses and languishing looks so thoroughly!
"Vendetta" by Marie Corelli
Pearl's recitation dealt with a captive knight who languished in a mouldy prison.
"Sowing Seeds in Danny" by Nellie L. McClung
Never for an instant during the past six weeks had the trading sagged or languished.
"The Pit" by Frank Norris
Fuchsia and rose-bushes languished in a tipsy wire enclosure near the front door.
"Martie the Unconquered" by Kathleen Norris
They languish, and taste ecstasy: but it is, however sonorous, an earthly concert.
"The Ordeal of Richard Feverel, Complete" by George Meredith
That instrument now gave a final flourish and bang whereat Sound, as if knocked on the head, died languishingly.
"Sandra Belloni, Complete" by George Meredith

In poetry:

VII. And if some tender pangs I cherish'd,
From thee I caught the pleasing anguish;
But when with thee those sweet pangs perish'd,
I felt them in my bosom languish.
"L'Amant Mutin" by Sydney Owenson
There Repetitions one another meet,
Expresly strong, or languishingly sweet,
And raise the sort of Sentiment they please,
And urge the sort of Sentiment they raise.
"An Essay On The Different Stiles Of Poetry" by Thomas Parnell
My silks and fine array,
My smiles and languish'd air,
By love are driv'n away;
And mournful lean Despair
Brings me yew to deck my grave;
Such end true lovers have.
"Song" by William Blake
O that languishing yawn!
O those eloquent eyes!
I was drunk with the dawn
Of a splendid surmise -
I was stung by a look, I was slain by a tear,
by a tempest of sighs.
"Atalanta In Camden -Town" by Lewis Carroll
Even me, by shady oak or limpid spring,
Even me, the scenes of polish'd life allure!
Some genius whispers, "Life is on the wing,
And hard his lot that languishes obscure.
"Elegy XXIV. He Takes Occasion, From the Fate of Eleanor of Bretagne" by William Shenstone
"'Thus for your sake I shun each human eye,
I bid the sweets of blooming youth adieu:
To die I languish, but I dread to die,
Lest my sad fate should nourish pangs for you.
"Elegy XXVI. Describing the Sorrow of An Ingeneous Mind" by William Shenstone

In news:

For four years, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, a bill that would make it a federal crime to kill or harm a fetus, has languished in Congress.
After losing nearly half its value in six months, the Dow Jones industrial average was languishing at its lowest point in more than a decade.
With time running out in this congressional session, a number of sweeping contracting reform bills are languishing on the back burner.
No longer do the insecure have to languish in obscurity and poverty.
Battle Against Cocaine Traffic Is Languishing in South America.
Educators often jump to other districts as cases languish in Springfield.
Federal money languishes amid community inertia .
But there is another part of his historic holding that is languishing in need of repair and restoration.
Donated Manes Languish in the Dining Room.
Why Some Luxury Homes Languish on the Market for Eons.
While Pirates languish , most others thrive.
Chuck Fleischmann bills languish in panels.
A year after freedom, South Sudanese languish up north.
150,000 languish in N. Korean prison camps.
Mark Dayton is expected to receive a report Thursday, Nov 15, recommending the state fortify a languishing environmental oversight board and make it easier for the public to follow the review process.

In science:

The enhancement was not observed in J/ψ → π0 p ¯p or ψ ′ → (π0 , η)p ¯p, and the resonance interpretation has languished.
Challenges in Hadron Physics
Cartan (who did it in order to construct all symmetric spaces ca. 1925/26), and a short revival in the fifties (Berger, Lichnerowicz), the study of holonomy languished until resuscitation in the mid-eighties, in part by imposition of physics (as in so many other mathematical questions!).
Special Holonomy Manifolds in Physics
In the vast stream of new user-generated content, only a few items will prove to be popular, attracting a lion’s share of attention, while the rest languish in obscurity.
Using Stochastic Models to Describe and Predict Social Dynamics of Web Users