[ kling ]
See synonyms for cling on
verb (used without object),clung [kluhng], /klʌŋ/, cling·ing.
  1. to adhere closely; stick to: The wet paper clings to the glass.

  2. to hold tight, as by grasping or embracing; cleave: The children clung to each other in the dark.

  1. to be or remain close: The child clung to her mother's side.

  2. to remain attached, as to an idea, hope, memory, etc.: Despite the predictions, the candidate clung to the belief that he would be elected.

  3. to cohere.

  1. the act of clinging; adherence; attachment.

Origin of cling

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

Other words for cling

Other words from cling

  • clinger, noun
  • cling·ing·ly, adverb
  • cling·ing·ness, noun
  • un·cling·ing, adjective

Other definitions for cling (2 of 2)

[ kling ]


Origin of cling

1835–45; by shortening from clingstone, or special use of cling1 (noun) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use cling in a sentence

  • He repairs to it with eagerness, and clings to it with a tenacity that time cannot relax, nor all the agonies of death dissolve.

  • In one word, to the whole worship of God the soul that clings to His Covenant will cordially bind itself in his dread presence.

  • He clings tenaciously to his unintelligible language, and is quite certain that he is superior to the whole human race.

    Spanish Life in Town and Country | L. Higgin and Eugne E. Street
  • We cannot but be pleased at the family affection which, in spite of time and absence, still clings so fondly to home.

    Memoirs of Mr. Charles J. Yellowplush | William Makepeace Thackeray
  • He who is determined to use reason, must drop faith; and he who clings to faith, must drop reason.

British Dictionary definitions for cling


/ (klɪŋ) /

verbclings, clinging or clung (intr)
  1. (often foll by to) to hold fast or adhere closely (to something), as by gripping or sticking

  2. (foll by together) to remain in contact (with each other)

  1. to be or remain physically or emotionally close: to cling to outmoded beliefs

  1. agriculture, mainly US the tendency of cotton fibres in a sample to stick to each other

  2. agriculture obsolete diarrhoea or scouring in animals

  1. short for clingstone

Origin of cling

Old English clingan; related to clench

Derived forms of cling

  • clinging, adjective
  • clinger, noun
  • clingingly, adverb
  • clingy, adjective
  • clinginess or clingingness, noun

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