Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Lack of physical or mental energy; listlessness. See Synonyms at lethargy.
  • n. A dreamy, lazy mood or quality: "It was hot, yet with a sweet languor about it” ( Theodore Dreiser).
  • n. Oppressive quiet or stillness.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a state of the body or mind caused by exhaustion or disease and characterized by a languid feeling: lassitude
  • n. listless indolence; dreaminess
  • n. dullness, sluggishness; lack of vigor; stagnation
  • n. An enfeebling disease; suffering

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A state of the body or mind which is caused by exhaustion of strength and characterized by a languid feeling; feebleness; lassitude; laxity.
  • n. Any enfeebling disease.
  • n. Listless indolence; dreaminess.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Faintness or feebleness of body; oppression from fatigue, disease, trouble, or other cause; languidness; dullness; heaviness.
  • n. Sickness; illness; suffering; sorrow.
  • n. Inertness in general; sluggishness; listlessness; lassitude; oppressive or soothing quietude; sleepy content.
  • n. In vegetable pathol., a condition of plants in which, from unwholesome nourishment, bad drainage, ungenial subsoil, or other bad conditions, they fall into a state of premature decrepitude.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a relaxed comfortable feeling
  • n. a feeling of lack of interest or energy
  • n. inactivity; showing an unusual lack of energy

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin, from languēre, to be languid; see languish.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the Middle English langour, langor, from the Old French langueur, from Latin languor ("faintness, languor"), from languere ("to feel faint, languish"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The whole of the dramatic music of the eighteenth century must naturally have appeared cold and languid to men whose minds were profoundly moved with troubles and wars; and even at the present day the word languor best expresses that which no longer touches us in the operas of the last century, without even excepting those of Mozart himself.

    The Great Italian and French Composers

  • Such19 transitions often excite mirth, or other sudden or tumultuous passions; but not that sinking, that melting, that languor, which is the characteristical effect of the beautiful as it regards every sense.

    On the Sublime and Beautiful

  • Original sin is accordingly called the languor of nature.

    Nature and Grace: Selections from the Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas

  • Such transitions2 often excite mirth, or other sudden and tumultuous passions; but not that sinking, that melting, that languor, which is the characteristical effect of the beautiful as it regards every sense.

    The Beautiful in Sounds

  • Incapable of finding any satisfaction in mercenary intrigues, they succumb to an indefinable sort of languor, which is called home-sickness, though, in reality, love with them is indissolubly associated with their native village, with its steeple and vesper bells, and with the familiar scenes of home.

    Recollections of My Youth

  • Her eyes, as she raises them, have the hazy, dreamy languor, which is so characteristic of the mixed races.

    Dred; A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp. Vol. I

  • Such [28] transitions often excite mirth, or other sudden or tumultuous passions; but not that sinking, that melting, that languor, which is the characteristical effect of the beautiful as it regards every sense.

    The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. 01 (of 12)

  • But his long face had nothing of that languor which is associated with long cuffs and manicuring in the caricatures of our own country.

    The Complete Father Brown

  • Leaving London they went to Paris, where they passed a few days, but soon grew weary of the place; and Lord Chetwynde, feeling a kind of languor, which seemed to him like a premonition of disease, he decided to go to Germany.

    The Cryptogram A Novel

  • Her magnificent golden tresses were braided to perfection, she was robed in that azure blue which so well becomes a blonde—a piece of coquetry she had learned from Colombe—and her eyes were swimming in that dewy languor which is still more becoming.

    VI. Three Various Hearts of Men. Book VIII

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