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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for clinging vine

Historical Examples of clinging vine

  • A man instinctively is drawn to the clinging-vine type of female.

    Cobb's Bill-of-Fare

    Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb

  • They are a wonderfully level-headed group, these telephone girls, wonderfully unlike their clinging-vine Victorian grandmothers.

  • She looked as if she could be very intense, though she was of that clinging-vine variety of young woman.

    Nothing But the Truth

    Frederic S. Isham

  • We used that word at Gresham to describe the girls who have a leaning, clinging-vine way of flopping on you.

  • That little subdued, clinging-vine air she has 191 is most appealing to his type.

    Penny of Top Hill Trail

    Belle Kanaris Maniates

British Dictionary definitions for clinging vine

clinging vine


US and 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

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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.