Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

ling1

[ling]
noun, plural (especially collectively) ling, (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) lings.
  1. an elongated, marine, gadid food fish, Molva molva, of Greenland and northern Europe.
  2. the burbot.
  3. any of various other elongated food fishes.
Show More

Origin of ling1

1250–1300; Middle English ling, lenge; cognate with Dutch leng; akin to long1, Old Norse langa

ling2

[ling]
noun
  1. the heather, Calluna vulgaris.
Show More

Origin of ling2

1325–75; Middle English lyng < Old Norse lyng

ling.

  1. linguistics.
Show More

-ling1

  1. a suffix of nouns, often pejorative, denoting one concerned with (hireling; underling), or diminutive (princeling; duckling).
Show More

Origin of -ling1

Middle English, Old English; cognate with German -ling, Old Norse -lingr, Gothic -lings; see -le, -ing1

-ling2

  1. an adverbial suffix expressing direction, position, state, etc.: darkling; sideling.
Show More

Origin of -ling2

Middle English, Old English; adv. use of gradational variant lang long1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ling

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The dragon possesses the most ling of all creatures (p. 64).

  • He hit Ling on the lower end of the breastbone, where his belly would be softest.

    The Devil's Asteroid

    Manly Wade Wellman

  • The plain was well-grassed, as high as Ling's knuckled knee.

    The Devil's Asteroid

    Manly Wade Wellman

  • Ling grimaced, but followed lest his companions think him afraid.

    The Devil's Asteroid

    Manly Wade Wellman

  • Ling had seemed so hairy, so misshapen, like a troll out of Gothic legends.

    The Devil's Asteroid

    Manly Wade Wellman


British Dictionary definitions for ling

ling1

noun plural ling or lings
  1. any of several gadoid food fishes of the northern coastal genus Molva, esp M. molva, having an elongated body with long fins
  2. another name for burbot
Show More

Word Origin

C13: probably from Low German; related to long 1

ling2

noun
  1. another name for heather (def. 1)
Show More
Derived Formslingy, adjective

Word Origin

C14: from Old Norse lyng

ling.

abbreviation for
  1. linguistics
Show More

-ling1

suffix forming nouns
  1. often derogatory a person or thing belonging to or associated with the group, activity, or quality specifiednestling; underling
  2. used as a diminutiveduckling
Show More

Word Origin

Old English -ling, of Germanic origin; related to Icelandic -lingr, Gothic -lings

-ling2

suffix forming adverbs
  1. in a specified condition, manner, or directiondarkling; sideling
Show More

Word Origin

Old English -ling, adverbial suffix
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

Word Origin and History for ling

n.

long, slender fish, c.1300, common Germanic, cf. Dutch leng, German Leng, Old Norse langa, probably ultimately related to long (adj.).

Show More

-ling

diminutive word-forming element, early 14c., from Old English -ling a nominal suffix (not originally diminutive), from Proto-Germanic *-linga-; attested in historical Germanic languages as a simple suffix, but probably representing a fusion of the suffixes represented by English -le (cf. icicle, thimble, handle), from Old English -ol, -ul, -el; and -ing, suffix indicating "person or thing of a specific kind or origin;" in masculine nouns also "son of" (cf. farthing, atheling, Old English horing "adulterer, fornicator").

Both these suffixes had occasional diminutive force, but this was only slightly evident in Old English -ling and its equivalents in Germanic languages except Norse, where it commonly was used as a diminutive suffix, especially in words designating the young of animals (e.g. gæslingr "gosling"). Thus it is possible that the diminutive use that developed in Middle English is from Old Norse.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper