Definition 1.1 states:

Suffer a mental and physical decline, especially because of a broken heart

Yet what does "pine away from" mean? Does it equal "to pine from" = to suffer from? Is the away optional, such as as follows?

P182, Dialogues and Essays By Seneca :

Accordingly, it is not open to you to claim your female sex as an excuse for persistent grief, as your own excellent qualities make you stranger to this; you should be as far removed from the tears, as from the vices, of women. Not even women will permit you to pine away from your wound, but will tell you to make a swift end of necessary grief before rising with a lighter heart, if only you are prepared to contemplate those women whose evident courage has won them a place in the ranks of great men.

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    Away here has the same meaning as in fade away, i.e., pining until you become diminished, reduced, to nothingness. From is indeed as in suffer from: it indicates the cause of the pining. Commented Jun 21, 2014 at 9:47
  • idioms.thefreedictionary.com/pine+away
    – Kris
    Commented Jun 21, 2014 at 10:42
  • The word pine has different aspects to it. On the other hand, to pine for and to pine away are idioms.
    – Kris
    Commented Jun 21, 2014 at 10:43

1 Answer 1


"To pine" is an idiom meaning "to long for, to desire from afar, often without hope of reciprocation."

"To pine away" is an idiom meaning "to waste, decline, diminish." In this case, the "from" indicated the cause of the pining away. The sense is related, but not the same. In the quote you provided, the "away" is not optional.

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