Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

linger

play
verb lin·ger \ˈliŋ-gər\

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

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of linger

lingered

lingering

play \-g(ə-)riŋ\
  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to be slow in parting or in quitting something :  tarry <fans lingered outside the door>

  3. 2 a :  to remain alive although gradually dying b :  to remain existent although often waning in strength, importance, or influence <lingering doubts> <lingering odors>

  4. 3 :  to be slow to act :  procrastinate

  5. 4 :  to move slowly :  saunter

  6. transitive verb
  7. 1 obsolete :  delay

  8. 2 :  to pass (as a period of time) slowly

lingerer

play \-gər-ər\ noun

lingeringly

play \-g(ə-)riŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of linger in a sentence

  1. The tourists didn't linger very long.

  2. She lingered at the art exhibit.

  3. He lingered in bed and missed breakfast.

  4. They lingered over coffee after dinner.

  5. The heat lingered long after the sun had gone down.

  6. The smell of her perfume lingered.

  7. 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

Rhymes with linger


LINGER Defined for Kids

linger

play
verb lin·ger \ˈliŋ-gər\

Definition of linger for Students

lingered

lingering

  1. 1 :  to be slow in leaving :  delay <We lingered at the park.>

  2. 2 :  to continue to exist as time passes <A faint smell of fried fish lingered about the place … — J. K. Rowling, Chamber of Secrets>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up linger? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

of striking ability or excellence

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

two-chairs-on-a-pier-by-the-ocean-in-summer

Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?

estival hiemal brumal vernal
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ