From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



Etymology 1[edit]

The noun is derived from Middle English langore, langour (disease, illness; misery, sadness; suffering; condition or event causing sadness, suffering, etc.; unwholesomeness; idleness, inertia; depression, self-disgust; expression of grief) [and other forms],[1] from Middle French languer, langueur, langour, and Anglo-Norman langor, langour, langur, Old French langueur, languour (disease, illness; suffering; emotional fatigue, sadness; listlessness; stagnation) (modern French langueur (languor)), and from their etymon Latin languor (faintness, feebleness; languor; apathy), from languēre,[2] the present active infinitive of langueō (to feel faint or weak; (figurative) to be idle, inactive; to be listless), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *(s)leg-, *(s)leh₁g-. The English word is cognate with Catalan llangor, Italian languore (faintness, weakness; languor), langore (obsolete), Old Occitan langor (modern Occitan langor), Portuguese langor, languor (obsolete), Spanish langor.[2]


languor (countable and uncountable, plural languors)

  1. (uncountable) A state of the body or mind caused by exhaustion or disease and characterized by a languid or weary feeling; lassitude; (countable) an instance of this.
    Synonym: torpor
    languor of convalescence
  2. (uncountable) Melancholy caused by lovesickness, sadness, etc.; (countable) an instance of this.
  3. (uncountable) Dullness, sluggishness; lack of vigour; stagnation.
    • 1818, [Mary Shelley], chapter VI, in Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. [], volume III, London: [] [Macdonald and Son] for Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, & Jones, →OCLC, page 120:
      I rushed towards her, and embraced her with ardour; but the deathly languor and coldness of the limbs told me, that what I now held in my arms had ceased to be the Elizabeth whom I had loved and cherished.
    • 1923, Elinor Wylie, “The Serpent in Persepolis”, in Jennifer Lorn: A Sedate Extravaganza. [], New York, N.Y.: George H[enry] Doran Company, →OCLC, book 3 (The Prince), page 266:
      From languor she passed to the lightest vivacity; her temper became merry and wild in the extreme; she was all at once a tease, a tomboy, and a witch.
  4. (uncountable) Listless indolence or inactivity, especially if enjoyable or relaxing; dreaminess; (countable) an instance of this.
    • 1834, L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], Francesca Carrara. [], volume I, London: Richard Bentley, [], (successor to Henry Colburn), →OCLC, pages 1–2:
      It is earth's brief breathing space, after the heat and hurry of her busier time; like that repose known only to the young and happy, when the nerves gradually compose themselves, the thoughts gather into some vague but delicious train, and the eyes are closed by languor before sleep.
    • 1945, Evelyn Waugh, chapter 4, in Brideshead Revisited [], 3rd edition, London: Chapman & Hall, →OCLC, book 1 (Et in Arcadia Ego), pages 70–71:
      The languor of Youth—how unique and quintessential it is! How quickly, how irrecoverably lost! The zest, the generous affections, the illusions, the despair, all the traditional attributes of Youth—all save this—come and go with us through life; [...] but languor—the relaxation of yet unwearied sinews, the mind sequestered and self-regarding, the sun standing still in the heavens and the earth throbbing to our own pulse—that belongs to Youth alone and dies with it.
    • 1984, Marco Vassi, Lying Down: A Horizontal Worldview, Santa Barbara, Calif.: Capra Press, →ISBN, page 65:
      Repose! The very word has a nostalgic ring to it, conjuring up a vanished world of pale solitude, gentle distances, summer vistas, languour, and lovely women …
  5. (uncountable) Heavy humidity and stillness of the air.
  6. (uncountable, obsolete) Sorrow; suffering; also, enfeebling disease or illness; (countable, obsolete) an instance of this.
Alternative forms[edit]
Related terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

The verb is derived from Middle English langouren (to be ill; to languish, suffer; to cause to suffer) [and other forms],[3] from Anglo-Norman langurer and Middle French langorer, langorir, langourer (to languish; to be languorous), from Old French languerer, from langueur (disease, illness; suffering; emotional fatigue, sadness; listlessness; stagnation); see further at etymology 1 above. Later uses of the verb have been influenced by the noun.[4]


languor (third-person singular simple present languors, present participle languoring, simple past and past participle languored)

  1. (intransitive) To languish.
Derived terms[edit]


  1. ^ langǒur, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  2. 2.0 2.1 languor, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, June 2008; “languor, n.”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  3. ^ langǒuren, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  4. ^ languor, v.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, June 2008.

Further reading[edit]



From langueō (to be faint, weary, languid) +‎ -or.



languor m (genitive languōris); third declension

  1. faintness, feebleness, languor, apathy


Third-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative languor languōrēs
Genitive languōris languōrum
Dative languōrī languōribus
Accusative languōrem languōrēs
Ablative languōre languōribus
Vocative languor languōrēs



  • languor”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • languor”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • languor in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette
  • Carl Meißner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[2], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • to abandon oneself to inactivity and apathy: desidiae et languori se dedere
    • to weary, bore the reader: languorem, molestiam legentium animis afferre



Borrowed from Latin languor.


  • IPA(key): /lanˈɡwoɾ/ [lãŋˈɡwoɾ]
  • Rhymes: -oɾ
  • Syllabification: lan‧guor


languor m (plural languores)

  1. (rare) languor

Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]