cling

verb
\ ˈkliŋ How to pronounce cling (audio) \
clung\ ˈkləŋ How to pronounce clung (audio) \; clinging

Definition of cling

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to hold together
b : to adhere as if glued firmly The shirt clung to his wet shoulders.
c : to hold or hold on tightly or tenaciously The kitten clung to the narrow branch.
2a : to have a strong emotional attachment or dependence he clung to his friends for support
b : to remain or linger as if resisting complete spreading or scattering The odor clung to the room for hours.

cling

noun
plural clings

Definition of cling (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act or instance of clinging : adherence
3 : a sheet of material (such as plastic or vinyl) designed to adhere to a flat surface by static electricity and often printed with an image or message When it's time for a new look, simply peel off the clings and store them away for another day.— Lorna Hordos

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Other Words from cling

Verb

clinger \ ˈkliŋ-​ər How to pronounce clinger (audio) \ noun
clingy \ ˈkliŋ-​ē How to pronounce clingy (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for cling

Synonyms: Verb

adhere, cleave, hew, stick

Synonyms: Noun

adherence, adhesion, bonding

Antonyms: Noun

unsticking

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Choose the Right Synonym for cling

Verb

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

Examples of cling in a Sentence

Verb

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

Noun

for certain types of materials that plastic wrap has very little cling
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

There are huddles of the Spanish delicacy percebes (goose barnacles); clusters of indigo mussels clinging to black metamorphic nobs. Tamar Adler, Vogue, "Is Seaweed the Perfect Food?," 15 Feb. 2019 Research from this year has suggested that the icy Enceladus in particular has strong potential for life, with microorganisms clinging to the surface of its seafloor. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Here's AI's Best Guess at a 3D-Printed Lander for Saturn and Jupiter's Moons," 14 Nov. 2018 Brown can’t seem to break out of a narrow lead over Buehler, clinging to a 3.7-point lead in the polling average, but Cook still says the race leans toward the Democrats. Stavros Agorakis, Vox, "The 13 most important governor elections in 2018, briefly explained," 15 Oct. 2018 Brave the climb to the Tiger's Nest Taktsang Palphug, commonly known as Tiger’s Nest, is a 17th-century structure clinging to a mountainside a dizzying 10,200 feet above Paro Valley. Hanya Yanagihara, Condé Nast Traveler, "50 Things to Do in Asia Before You Die," 24 Sep. 2018 Maybe the best account of the Mall incident is Caitlin Flanagan’s in the Atlantic, particularly how CNN clung to its original stereotype even as contradictory information poured in. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "How the News Became Fake," 25 Jan. 2019 And trying to figure out how to do right while also, frankly, clinging to their privileges. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Elites like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos think they’re being philanthropic. But they could do so much more.," 3 Oct. 2018 Getty Images Sports Illustrated Swim's Instagram page also posted a photograph of Martin standing with Aria in a wide-legged power-stance—illuminated by her gold bikini, her smile, her daughter's presence—smiling at the camera as Aria clings to her. Zoe Harris, Marie Claire, "Mara Martin Breastfed on Sports Illustrated's Catwalk and Women Everywhere Are Applauding Her," 17 July 2018 Today, the floor of the Quijos Valley is mostly cattle pasture, interspersed with islands of forest, while the cloud forest still clings to the steeper slopes of the valley, high above the banks of the Rio Quijos. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Supposedly pristine South American forest had been pre-Columbian farmland," 17 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Several spots on the T-shirt and hat clearly reject any attempt by the ketchup and mustard mixture to cling, whereas others afford it a bit of purchase. Lee Hutchinson, Ars Technica, "The Internet-demanded, partially scientific testing of Ultra-Ever Dry (in HD!)," 4 July 2018 An estimated 40,000 members of the ethnic minority cling to the belief that everything vital in the world originates from a woman, earning the region the nickname Kingdom of Daughters. Jason Motlagh, Marie Claire, "Kingdom of Women," 18 Jan. 2018 The idea later resulted in a bridal collection of minimalist, no-frills wedding slips with a simple silhouette and carefree cling, complete with adjustable pearl-fastened straps. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Need a Wedding Dress and Pajamas? Sleeper Is the One-Stop Shop for Both," 5 Feb. 2018 Pickled mustard greens are essential, the tang offsetting the velvet cling of liquid fat. New York Times, "At Happy Stony Noodle, a Childhood Favorite Anchors the Menu," 25 Jan. 2018 The clings are meant to be peeled off after the party and reused at the next event. Bonnie Mccarthy, latimes.com, "Keep track of your cocktails with drink charms and markers," 16 Dec. 2017 Keith’s chill delivery begets rapid rhymes that hang among the bells and whistles and clings and clangs of the arcade’s vintage machines. Kevin Warwick, Chicago Reader, "Hip-hop alien Kool Keith again invades Logan Arcade for his annual X-mas extravaganza," 15 Dec. 2017 One simple and inexpensive precaution is a window cling that alerts first responders that a pet is inside the home. Kelly Mcbride, Cincinnati.com, "Vet clinic reaches out to pet owners who can't afford care," 27 June 2017 Customers station themselves at the table, the windowsill or a low shelf, each set with a saltshaker and an enormous bottle of Valentina hot sauce, which brings good cling, upfront heat and a citrus coda. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, "A Shrimp Cocktail With a Jumbo Jolt, at La Esquina in Queens," 4 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cling.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cling

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

circa 1625, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cling

Verb and Noun

Middle English, from Old English clingan; akin to Old High German klunga tangled ball of thread

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Learn More about cling

Dictionary Entries near cling

cline

-cline

cliner

cling

cling-clang

cling film

clingfish

Statistics for cling

Last Updated

7 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cling

The first known use of cling was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for cling

cling

verb

English Language Learners Definition of cling

: to hold onto something or someone very tightly
often disapproving : to stay very close to someone for emotional support, protection, etc.
: to stick to something or someone

cling

verb
\ ˈkliŋ How to pronounce cling (audio) \
clung\ ˈkləŋ \; clinging

Kids Definition of cling

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on cling

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cling

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cling

Spanish Central: Translation of cling

Nglish: Translation of cling for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cling for Arabic Speakers

Comments on cling

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