Simple Definition of linger
: to stay somewhere beyond the usual or expected time
: to continue to exist as time passes
: to remain alive while becoming weaker
Full Definition of linger
1 : to be slow in parting or in quitting something : tarry <fans lingered outside the door>
2 a : to remain alive although gradually dying b : to remain existent although often waning in strength, importance, or influence <lingering doubts> <lingering odors>
3 : to be slow to act : procrastinate
4 : to move slowly : saunter
1 obsolete : delay
2 : to pass (as a period of time) slowly
lingererplay \-gər-ər\ noun
lingeringlyplay \-g(ə-)riŋ-lē\ adverb
Examples of linger in a sentence
The tourists didn't linger very long.
She lingered at the art exhibit.
He lingered in bed and missed breakfast.
They lingered over coffee after dinner.
The heat lingered long after the sun had gone down.
The smell of her perfume lingered.
The idea lingered in their minds.
Origin and Etymology of linger
Middle English (northern dialect) lengeren to dwell, frequentative of lengen to prolong, from Old English lengan; akin to Old English lang long
First Known Use: 14th century
LINGER Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
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