- 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 clinging
My muddy shoe slipped, and I banged my kneecap on a fence rail, clinging for dear life.Chicago’s Running of the Bulls
July 26, 2014
The people of Donetsk are clinging to normality, trying to enjoy the spring, but their anger, disillusionment and fear runs deep.Putin Has Predicted Civil War in Ukraine. So Do Many of Its People
April 16, 2014
At this moment the revolutionary, like the nation of Syria, is clinging to life.The Man Syria’s Jihadists Want Dead
January 30, 2014
Abbas is toying with making an appeal to the international community and Netanyahu is clinging onto status quo.Preparing for Plan B
July 22, 2013
We must acknowledge the passing of the former while clinging ever tighter to the latter.Same Process, No Progress
May 3, 2013
That clinging mist seemed of evil bodement for our expedition.The Roof of France
Allis knew who the friends were; the clinging touch of stephanotis had come with him.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
He alarmed her with his imperious gesture, and she turned from him, clinging to my neck.In the Valley
And yet Nancy was not clinging to life itself; she only seemed to be, because she clung to love.Meadow Grass
Even her weeping and her sobs were stifled by her clinging round him.Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit
- (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 clinging
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.