- to remain or stay on in a place longer than is usual or expected, as if from reluctance to leave: We lingered awhile after the party.
- to remain alive; continue or persist, although gradually dying, ceasing, disappearing, etc.: She lingered a few months after the heart attack. Such practices still linger among the older natives.
- to dwell in contemplation, thought, or enjoyment: to linger over the beauty of a painting.
- to be tardy in action; delay; dawdle: to linger in discharging one's duties.
- to walk slowly; saunter along.
- to pass (time, life, etc.) in a leisurely or a tedious manner (usually followed by away or out): We lingered away the whole summer at the beach.
- Archaic. to draw out or protract.
Origin of linger
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for lingered
But most of all, Ramone lingered on Vicious, whom he painted and drew over and over again.‘All Good Cretins Go to Heaven’: Dee Dee Ramone’s Twisted Punk Paintings
December 15, 2014
After each tiny detail was dusted and perfected without the promise of guests, he lingered in the room a few moments longer.Winston Churchill’s Egyptian Getaway: The Old Cataract Hotel
December 15, 2013
But the question that has lingered is how fast and how many this year.Obama’s Afghan Gamble
June 21, 2011
Parker said her good-byes, and as most of the group went back upstairs to the set, Spitzer lingered.Eliot Spitzer's Nasty CNN Parting Shot to Kathleen Parker
February 28, 2011
They lingered and when I tried to get them to leave, they pulled out guns.Iraq's Anti-Gay Pogrom
August 16, 2009
Banstead lingered by the threshold and took up an illustrated paper.Viviette
William J. Locke
It was over his image that she had lingered that morning in her closet.Ester Ried Yet Speaking
For years afterward, the memory of one evening lingered with him.Dust
Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
There was nothing more to say--time pressed--yet I lingered dumb and irresolute.In the Valley
And this was why he lingered in the kitchen,—not knowing just what to say.
- to delay or prolong departure
- to go in a slow or leisurely manner; saunter
- to remain just alive for some time prior to death
- to persist or continue, esp in the mind
- to be slow to act; dither; procrastinate
Word Origin and History for lingered
c.1300, lenger "reside, dwell," northern England frequentative of lengen "to tarry," from Old English lengan "prolong, lengthen," from Proto-Germanic *langjan "to make long" (cf. Old Frisian lendza, Old High German lengan, Dutch lengen "to lengthen"), source of Old English lang (see long (adj.)). Sense of "delay going, depart slowly and unwillingly" is from 1520s. Related: Lingered; lingering.