- 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 lingering
Occasional, more traditional efforts have met with success—the Big Apple Circus and lingering smaller acts.We’re All Carnies Now: Why We Can’t Quit the Circus
November 27, 2014
Was there lingering resentment over you choosing your wife over Lauryn?Wyclef Jean Talks Lauryn Hill, the Yele Haiti Controversy, and Chris Christie
November 20, 2014
In the midst of that fierce winter, Anna fell ill, developing a nasty, lingering cough.‘The Harness Maker’s Dream:’ The Unlikely Ranch King of Texas
September 20, 2014
So why is that such a lingering stereotype in the way pop culture represents Hollywood?Amy Sedaris Is Hollywood's Beloved Rabbit-Loving Comedian Crafter
August 28, 2014
Of course, one of the lingering questions is which Simpsons will be shown?A 200-Hour ‘Simpsons’ Marathon? That’s Unpossible!
July 24, 2014
This was the ungracious manner in which the sister took note of his lingering.Ester Ried Yet Speaking
Miss Priest was no "spin" lingering on in spinsterhood against her will.Camps, Quarters and Casual Places
The children were lingering on the beach when Edward came that day.A Little Book of Profitable Tales
Josie was lingering on the doorstep in an agony of untrained coquetry.
Roland was lingering unwillingly, detained by Burnham's imperative hand.
- 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 lingering
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.