Definition of languor in English:



  • 1The state or feeling, often pleasant, of tiredness or inertia.

    ‘he remembered the languor and warm happiness of those golden afternoons’
    • ‘My truck doesn't have sports-car driving dynamics but it has a kind of authoritative languor about it, just kind of suavely rolling along.’
    • ‘A previously neutral note might gain an accent or portamento stress as the mood momentarily wakens into passion or leans into languor.’
    • ‘The windswept Yorkshire hills, the terraced houses, dappled woods and shadowy interiors, help convey a warm summer languor.’
    • ‘Yet why not hope for a change in appetite, why not hope that vulnerability, doubt, languor, even feyness, might find a mass market once again?’
    • ‘Adolescent languor returns too, and a slower pace of life: lazing around all day talking, laughing, listening to music, skulking around so as not to get caught by adults.’
    • ‘Yeats is prepared to try out the latest poetic fashions - Pre-Raphaelite languor with its confiscation of medieval surfaces, desacralised and airbrushed with momentary desire.’
    • ‘Her eyes, he wrote, ‘were of a tawny black, full of exotic languor and coaxing softness’.’
    • ‘Not that the background was soft: Paisley Grammar School and Glasgow University would not exactly equip him with a look of effortless languor.’
    • ‘The nugget of a good album resides within the languor and the lassitude presented here.’
    • ‘Palmer grounds further mistrust in an awareness of the late hour of language, in anxiety regarding its itinerant languor and lapse, its reflecting gaze having decayed.’
    • ‘There's an enormous tension between indolence and languor.’
    • ‘With its lines of dialogue being few and far between, and its long, vast shots of the golden deserts and the cold white mountains, the film can be accused of languor, and even self-indulgence, at moments.’
    • ‘The clean lines and beautifully minimalist room was built for languor and comfort, yet the atmosphere was buttoned-up with a starched collar.’
    • ‘The hedonistic pleasures of languor and warmth - going lightly dressed, swimming in balmy seas at dusk, talking and drinking under the stars - are just as appealing.’
    • ‘I quickly succumb to the languor and indolence that harks back to a more leisurely era.’
    • ‘For the non-appearance of satisfaction is suffering; the empty longing for a new desire is languor, boredom.’
    • ‘It is a taste for languor, the grotesque and the bizarre.’
    • ‘He insinuates a languor of sun-mist and lustre into his modish Arcadia: a region of roses, felicitously painted, and ruins sketched on his Italian journeys, all against the backdrops of the opera-ballets of his time.’
    • ‘Discussion of a common foreign and defence policy - an even more leisurely and circular debate than that on human rights and sovereignty - can never have the same fine careless languor it had before.’
    • ‘But even if population density is regarded as a reason for India's economic languor, it cannot be justified.’
    lassitude, lethargy, listlessness, tiredness, torpor, fatigue, weariness
    View synonyms
  • 2An oppressive stillness of the air.

    ‘the afternoon was hot, quiet, and heavy with languor’
    • ‘The dreamy peace of a quiet anchorage took possession of us, deepened by the languor of the tropics.’
    • ‘Sometimes both the languor and the silence are overdone.’
    • ‘Everything seems to billow, there are clouds of this and drifts of that, totally in harmony with the languor of a drowsy summer day.’
    • ‘The sea breezes, the tropical languor, that old susegad, had conspired to make Goa an oriental fleshpot.’
    stillness, tranquillity, calm, calmness, lull, silence, windlessness, oppressiveness, heaviness
    View synonyms


Middle English: via Old French from Latin, from languere (see languish). The original sense was illness, disease, distress later faintness, lassitude; current senses date from the 18th century, when such lassitude became associated with a sometimes rather self-indulgent romantic yearning.