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clinging vine

noun, Informal.
a person who behaves in a helpless and dependent manner in relationships with others.
Origin of clinging vine
An Americanism dating back to 1960-65 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for clinging vine
Historical Examples
  • Human nature is a clinging vine at best, and I don't want it clinging about me.

    Dennison Grant Robert Stead
  • I feel like a suffragette,” said I, “destroying the clinging vine.

    The Idyl of Twin Fires Walter Prichard Eaton
  • There could never have been anything of the 'clinging vine' about Gertie.

    The Land of Promise

    D. Torbett
  • Doris Cleveland was too buoyantly healthy to be a clinging vine.

    The Hidden Places Bertrand W. Sinclair
  • She would never be a clinging vine; she was rather like a rose high on a trellis—a man must reach up to draw her to him.

    Mistress Anne Temple Bailey
  • Closana, daughter of Rupin-Sang, was feminine enough but there was nothing of the clinging vine about her!

    The Golden Amazons of Venus John Murray Reynolds
  • The man whose wife is a clinging vine is apt to be like the oaks in the forest that are found wrapped in vines—dead at the top.

  • The clinging vine lends a picturesqueness to the slender columns and the slanting roof emphasizes the beauty of it all.

    Garden Ornaments Mary H. Northend
  • When she tried to regain her feet, however, on each occasion the clinging vine refused to release its hold.

    Pathfinder Alan Douglas
  • Occasionally some exclamation told that he might have clumsily stumbled over a root or a clinging vine.

British Dictionary definitions for clinging vine

clinging vine

(US & Canadian, informal) a woman who displays excessive emotional dependence on a man
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Idioms and Phrases with clinging vine

clinging vine

An overly dependent person, as in A clinging vine since her marriage, she's never made a decision on her own. Nearly always applied to a woman (or wife), this metaphor for a climbing plant today criticizes dependency rather than, as in former times, praising the vine's fruitfulness.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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