\ ˈkliŋ How to pronounce cling (audio) \
clung\ ˈkləŋ How to pronounce cling (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.


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

Other Words from cling


clinger \ ˈkliŋ-​ər How to pronounce cling (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for cling

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

  • unsticking
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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

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
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb An area surrounding the Azovstal steel plant remained under heavy tank fire as Ukrainian forces and civilians cling to their last stronghold in the strategic southern port city. Washington Post, 30 Apr. 2022 Meanwhile, layoffs are at a low, just 1.3 million in June, as employers cling onto their remaining workers amid the war for talent. Andrew Hunter, Forbes, 8 Sep. 2021 This is especially true when static electricity makes dog hair and cat hair cling so tightly to fabrics, like carpeting and upholstery, that no amount of brushing or suction power seem to pick it up. Carolyn Forté, Good Housekeeping, 3 May 2022 At a time when many workers are reevaluating their relationship with their jobs, some cling to their relationship with their bosses. Roxanne Roberts, Washington Post, 25 Apr. 2022 And not all Cleveland fans cling to the team’s past so vehemently. New York Times, 16 Apr. 2022 Some local businesses cling on, moving meat, cereal, eggs and bread to local stores, but foreign markets are largely cut off. Paul Berger, WSJ, 31 Mar. 2022 At the end of Saturday’s second session the Eagles cling to a 142-137.5 lead over Perrysburg. Jonathan X. Simmons, cleveland, 12 Mar. 2022 More than a year after Donald Trump left the presidency, 17% of U.S. Latter-day Saints still cling to belief in wild QAnon conspiracies. David Noyce, The Salt Lake Tribune, 3 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Timing, too, can help a vaccine’s protection cling. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 1 Dec. 2021 Most recently, a startup called Polymateria created a plastic cling film, intended for uses like packaging, that can break down within a year and also be recycled. Julian Chokkattu, Wired, 8 June 2021 Chartrand points to the Y2K revival, an aesthetic movement popular on Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter among Gen Z-ers too young to have experience MTV TRL the first time around, as one reason for the return of cling. Steff Yotka, Vogue, 27 May 2021 That’s where the vast majority of the people suffer and the few cling to power and thrive by exploiting others. Peter Georgescu, Forbes, 19 Apr. 2021 Install new windows with a low-E coating, or line old windowpanes with an adhesive or static-cling film. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 19 Mar. 2021 Too much sunlight makes daytime naps or early bedtimes seemingly impossible, but this handy window cling is the perfect solution for total darkness any time of day. Lexie Sachs, Good Housekeeping, 24 Sep. 2020 Rocket Man put together a proposal of health guidelines for its employees to use, including wearing both face shields and masks, using hand sanitizer between each transaction and covering cocktail glasses with a perforated cling film. Dahlia Ghabour, The Courier-Journal, 19 Aug. 2020 For heavy pots, stick a chopstick in a few inches; if damp particles of soil cling, hold off on watering. Arricca Elin Sansone, House Beautiful, 11 Aug. 2020 See More

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.

First Known Use of cling


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


circa 1625, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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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Time Traveler for cling

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for cling

Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for cling


\ 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on cling

Nglish: Translation of cling for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cling for Arabic Speakers


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