verb \ˈkliŋ\

: to hold onto something or someone very tightly

: to stay very close to someone for emotional support, protection, etc.

: to stick to something or someone

clung \ˈkləŋ\ cling·ing

Full Definition of CLING

intransitive verb
a :  to hold together
b :  to adhere as if glued firmly
c :  to hold or hold on tightly or tenaciously
a :  to have a strong emotional attachment or dependence <he clung to his friends for support>
b :  to remain or linger as if resisting complete dissipation or dispersal <the odor clung to the room for hours>
cling·er \ˈkliŋ-ər\ noun
clingy \ˈkliŋ-ē\ adjective

Examples of CLING

  1. The children clung together under the little umbrella waiting for the storm to pass.
  2. <a dozen magnets clinging to the refrigerator>

Origin of CLING

Middle English, from Old English clingan; akin to Old High German klunga tangled ball of thread
First Known Use: before 12th century

Related to CLING

adhere, cleave, stick, hew

Synonym Discussion of CLING

stick, adhere, cohere, cling, cleave mean to become closely attached. stick implies attachment by affixing or by being glued together <couldn't get the label to stick>. adhere is often interchangeable with stick but sometimes implies a growing together <antibodies adhering to a virus>. cohere suggests a sticking together of parts so that they form a unified mass <eggs will make the mixture cohere>. cling implies attachment by hanging on with arms or tendrils <clinging to a capsized boat>. cleave stresses strength of attachment <the wet shirt cleaved to his back>.



Definition of CLING

:  an act or instance of clinging :  adherence

Examples of CLING

  1. <for certain types of materials that plastic wrap has very little cling>

First Known Use of CLING

circa 1625
CLING Defined for Kids


verb \ˈkliŋ\
clung \ˈkləŋ\cling·ing

Definition of CLING for Kids

:  to hold fast by grasping or winding around <To avoid falling, cling to the railing.>
:  to remain close <He clings to the family.>
:  to hold fast or stick closely to a surface <These wet socks are clinging to my feet.>
:  to continue to believe in <We clung to the hope that we'd be rescued.>


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