Definitions

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

  • adj. Lacking energy or vitality; weak: a languid wave of the hand.
  • adj. Showing little or no spirit or animation; listless: a languid mood.
  • adj. Lacking vigor or force; slow: languid breezes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Lacking enthusiasm, energy, or strength; drooping or flagging from weakness, fatigue, or lack of energy; indisposed to exertion; sluggish; relaxed: as, languid movements; languid breathing.
  • adj. Heavy; dull; dragging; wanting spirit or animation; listless; apathetic.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Drooping or flagging from exhaustion; indisposed to exertion; without animation; weak; weary; heavy; dull.
  • adj. Slow in progress; tardy.
  • adj. Promoting or indicating weakness or heaviness.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Drooping or flagging from weakness, fatigue, or lack of energy; indisposed to exertion; sluggish; relaxed: as, languid movements; languid breathing.
  • Hence, in general
  • Heavy; dull; dragging; wanting spirit or animation; listless; apathetic.
  • Synonyms Faint, weary, exhausted.
  • Supine, spiritless, torpid, slow.
  • n. Same as languet .
  • n. In organ-building, same as language.

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

  • adj. lacking spirit or liveliness

Etymologies

French languide, from Latin languidus, from languēre, to be languid; see slēg- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin languidus ("faint, weak, dull, sluggish, languid"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Even in languid humid climes it is the season of matings and revolutions.

    Aleta Dey

  • Tired and languid from the morning in the sun, she found herself thrilling to his touch and half-dreamily deciding that here was a man she could love, hands and all.

    Chapter 11

  • I find it interesting that the review says the first half was 'languid' - I thought it was rushed and choppy .. the romance is more assumed than shown, which was too bad.

    Movie Review: Twilight | /Film

  • He walked some turns backwards and forwards in his room; he recalled the languid form of the fainting wretch to his mind; he wept at the recollection of her tears.

    The Man of Feeling

  • They might work: but the vanity of spiritual perfection was tempted to disdain the exercise of manual labor; and the industry must be faint and languid, which is not excited by the sense of personal interest.

    History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire — Volume 3

  • After a backbench query about the AV referendum, Bercow rose up again and called another languid halt.

    The Coffee House | Politics and News Discussion Forum

  • The picture is full of magic; and the colour is truly a spirit dwelling on things and making them expressive to the spirit, for the delicate tones of grey, and green, and violet seem to convey to us the idea of languid sleep, and even the hawthorn-blossoms have lost their wonted brightness, and are more like the pale moonlight to which Shelley compared them, than the sheet of summer snow we see now in our English fields.

    Miscellanies

  • Q: That's why your pace is so languid -- that's "languid" instead of "slow."

    Brad Balfour: Chronicling Black Panthers, Award-Winning Director Knows Where Night Catches Us

  • Productivity, he explained, is "languid" in construction, so the decline of building as a share of the economy in recent quarters "is certainly going to be positive for productivity" on average.

    Strong Productivity Defies Trend

  • There were still plenty of touching dramas of childhood and loss, languid paeans to family (hint: "languid" means "half-hour tracking shots of Serbian countryside"), and stinging indictments of people who think moviemakers are dweebs, but I wasn't forced into a kind of Russian roulette ("this film has a one in six chance of being even more languid than Tarkovsky") and could avoid them at whim.

    Kenneth Hite's Journal

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Woohoo, circular etymology!
    French languide, from Latin languidus, from languēre, to be languid.

    September 3, 2011

  • The Oxford English Dictionary adds the following definition of languid: "Of style, writing, an idea, etc.: prosaic, insipid, or lifeless; mundane, lacking force or interest."

    September 3, 2011

  • "At Combray and in Paris, all my grandmother's friends were in the habit of greeting one another at a social gathering with as seraphic an air as if they had caught sight of someone of their acquaintance in church, at the moment of the Elevation or during a funeral, and were offering him a languid greeting which ended in prayer."
    --Sodom and Gomorrah by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, revised by D.J. Enright, p 110 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    February 3, 2009

  • "As love without esteem is capricious and volatile; esteem without love is languid and cold." Jonathan Swift.

    December 11, 2006