- to adhere closely; stick to: The wet paper clings to the glass.
- to hold tight, as by grasping or embracing; cleave: The children clung to each other in the dark.
- to be or remain close: The child clung to her mother's side.
- to remain attached, as to an idea, hope, memory, etc.: Despite the predictions, the candidate clung to the belief that he would be elected.
- to cohere.
- the act of clinging; adherence; attachment.
Origin of cling1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for clinger
- (often foll by to) to hold fast or adhere closely (to something), as by gripping or sticking
- (foll by together) to remain in contact (with each other)
- to be or remain physically or emotionally closeto cling to outmoded beliefs
- agriculture, mainly US the tendency of cotton fibres in a sample to stick to each other
- agriculture obsolete diarrhoea or scouring in animals
- short for clingstone
Word Origin and History for clinger
Old English clingan "hold fast, adhere closely; congeal, shrivel" (strong verb, past tense clang, past participle clungen), from Proto-Germanic *klingg- (cf. Danish klynge "to cluster;" Old High German klinga "narrow gorge;" Old Norse klengjask "press onward;" Danish klinke, Dutch klinken "to clench;" German Klinke "latch").
The main sense shifted in Middle English to "adhere to" (something else), "stick together." Of persons in embrace, c.1600. Figuratively (to hopes, outmoded ideas, etc.), from 1580s. Of clothes from 1792. Related: Clung; clinging.