1

cling

verb \ ˈkliŋ \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of cling

clung play \ˈkləŋ\; clinging
intransitive verb
1 a :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.
2 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 spreading or scattering
  • The odor clung to the room for hours.

clinger

play \ˈkliŋ-ər\ noun

clingy

play \ˈkliŋ-ē\ adjective

Examples of cling in a Sentence

  1. The children clung together under the little umbrella waiting for the storm to pass.

  2. a dozen magnets clinging to the refrigerator

Recent Examples of cling from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of cling

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

cling Synonyms

Synonyms
adhere, cleave, stick, hew
Related Words
bind, cohere, fasten, fuse, glue, unite
Near Antonyms
loosen; drop, fall

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

2

cling

noun

Definition of cling

plural clings
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

Examples of cling in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples of cling from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of cling

see 1cling



CLING Defined for English Language Learners

cling

verb

Definition of cling for English Language Learners

  • : 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


CLING Defined for Kids

cling

verb \ ˈkliŋ \

Definition of cling for Students

clung \ˈkləŋ\; clinging
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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