[ kling ]
/ klɪŋ /

verb (used without object), clung, cling·ing.

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 cling

before 900; Middle English clingen, Old English clingan to stick together, shrink, wither; akin to clench



cling·er, nouncling·ing·ly, adverbcling·ing·ness, nounun·cling·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for clinger

  • They once were the coats or outside garment of a swimmer or a clinger of the sea.

    Lord Dolphin|Harriet A. Cheever
  • She was a Clinger, who would curl around the nearest support like a morning glory vine.

British Dictionary definitions for clinger

/ (klɪŋ) /

verb clings, clinging or clung (intr)

(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

Derived forms of cling

Word Origin for cling

Old English clingan; related to clench
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