clinging vine

  1. 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

Words Nearby clinging vine Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use clinging vine in a sentence

  • 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
  • There was a determination and conviction in Helen's tone much at variance with the masculine theory of the clinging vine.

    I Walked in Arden | Jack Crawford
  • We used that word at Gresham to describe the girls who have a leaning, clinging-vine way of flopping on you.

  • I mean the fragile, lady landlady, the clinging vine bereft of the supporting husband oak.

    Turns about Town | Robert Cortes Holliday
  • I hope you won't think I'm a clinging vine, but I can't help being afraid of something here every time I'm away from you.

    The Skylark of Space | Edward Elmer Smith and Lee Hawkins Garby

British Dictionary definitions for clinging vine

clinging vine

  1. 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

Other 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.