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languish in

1. To spend time in some place weakening in spirit or in health. I've been languishing in this hospital bed for so long, I've forgotten what it feels like to be healthy. I say let the criminal languish in prison for the rest of his days.
2. To be forgotten, ignored, or neglected in some place. With the United Nations withdrawing troops from the region, thousands of refugees will be left to languish in their makeshift communities of tents. It is yet another piece of legislation destined to languish in parliament, thanks to this government's stubborn refusal to work together toward any productive actions.
3. To be overcome by some debilitating emotional, physical, or psychological state. I spent about two years languishing in sorrow after my wife passed away. Without proper medical treatment, the poor man was left to languish in psychosis. I can't understand why they want to spend so much money building a new sport arena, when so many important landmarks around the city are languishing in disrepair.
See also: languish

languish over (someone or something)

To desire or grieve over someone or something so intensely that one becomes depressed or melancholy. You can't just sitting here languishing over your ex-boyfriend. It's over—you need to get out there and live your life! I find it disgusting the way people languish over the latest, most expensive tech gadgets, even though they literally have no need for them!
See also: languish, over
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

languish in

 some place
1. to become dispirited in some place; to weaken and fade away in some place. Claire languished in prison for her crime. I spent over three days languishing in a stuffy hotel room. We languished in the airport waiting room while they refueled the plane.
2. to suffer neglect in a place. The bill languished in the Senate for months on end. The children languished in the squalid conditions until the court intervened.
See also: languish

languish over someone or something

to pine over someone or something. There is no point in languishing over Tim. He'll never come back. She wasted half her life languishing over her lost opportunities.
See also: languish, over
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
"We know we put the quilt in jeopardy every time it goes out the door, but to accomplish our mission we could never let it languish on the shelves," Rhoad says.
He said that thousands of Kashmiris continued to languish in various Indian jails under draconian laws and new ones were added each day.
1995: Relegated to third tier where they languish for five years.
But Prince Florin's reunion with his father is anything but joyful; instead, his father and courtiers have been taken prisoner and languish in Theodo's dungeons, awaiting execution.
"There has been a tendency by some agents and owners to put properties on the market at unrealistic pricing, which has caused those units to languish," Hamilton said.
This decontextualization of graffiti art--the shift from alleyways to galleries--even produced a few art stars, like Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat; but the majority of practitioners were left to languish in the obscurity of the art world's margins.
What might happen in the future if some Chinese prosper, like the partying teens pictured on pages 14-15, while others, like Chu Chen Deng, languish in poverty?
In her testimony before a House subcommittee, she spoke of finding "nurses who] allowed patients with life-threatening illness to languish for hours, even days, without monitoring." The worst case involved a Cheyenne, Wyoming, patient whose bladder cancer, a normally curable illness, metastasized while he waited 45 days for the hospital to settle a contract dispute with its urologist.
Aziz, however, continued to languish in Tihar Jail for seven more years for the government failed to ascertain his antecedents and deport him.
ISTG spokeswoman Claudia Saba said: "While 14 Irish citizens were languishing in prison in Israel for the crime of coming to their aid, the population of Gaza continues to languish in what is, in effect, the world's largest open air prison."
Why should a person languish for years in a jail if he is not guilty?" observed Tariq Shah.
Diapered MBAs and trembling CEOs shuffle zillions of dollars in paper while new products languish. The Pentagon devours the few engineers and scientists we turn out, dooming our shriking R&D efforts to commercial irrelevance.
The fishermen sometimes languish in prison for years.
WHEN energy providers make large profits at the same time as people struggle to pay their bills in winter and millions continue to languish in fuel poverty, people get angry.
The choreographer was unique in his absorption of literary sources like the Cartes du Tendre (maps of romantic conquest) of the period, and yet he did not languish in this sentimental landscape.