\ ˈkliŋ-ē How to pronounce clingy (audio) \
clingier; clingiest

Definition of clingy

: having the quality of clinging to someone or something: such as
a : tending to adhere to a surface upon contact a clingy plastic wrap clingy fabrics dress/clothes In her clingiest [=tightest-fitting] dress she swings into town and soon has the men howling.— Peter Travers
b : tending to stay very close to someone (such as a parent) for emotional support, protection, etc. a clingy child Some kids act out or become whiny to get a parent's attention; others become clingy or fearful.— Leah Hennen

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for clingy


adherent, adhesive, gluey, glutinous, gummy, sticky, tacky, tenacious, viscid



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of clingy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The crinkly and stretchy black piece was clingy and curve-skimming. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Bella Hadid Kicks Off Fashion Week in a ’90s Tube Dress," 6 Sep. 2018 Static Can't with clingy strands? Dab a hydrating serum (try: Sally Hershberger Hyper Hydration Spray Serum) onto palms and comb hands through hair for total smoothness. Kristin Koch, Seventeen, "5 Easy Fixes For Your Biggest Winter Hair Problems," 8 Jan. 2016 One of the biggest draws of the night was Kim Kardashian West, who came — in a midriff-baring, clingy white ensemble by Rick Owens — to collect the inaugural Influencer award. Washington Post, "Designer Raf Simons wins yet again at fashion’s CFDA awards," 5 June 2018 Waffle Fries The lattice pattern makes them both crisp and clingy, with just the right balance of potato and crunch for breakfast. Julia Moskin, New York Times, "The Best Summer Fries, Ranked," 22 May 2018 Cover the trap with a plastic bag or clingy plastic wrap, then coat it with a sticky substance, such as Tangle-Trap. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "The 7 Best Organic Pest Control Techniques For Your Garden," 18 Dec. 2017 The new arrival, in a clingy black dress and flat Gucci sandals, slid into the banquette. Rachel Deloache Williams, The Hive, "“As an Added Bonus, She Paid for Everything”: My Bright-Lights Misadventure with a Magician of Manhattan," 13 Apr. 2018 When your gut is bigger than your guns, clingy knitwear isn't the most flattering thing in the world. Megan Gustashaw, GQ, "The Rock Knows How to Dress If You Never Skip Bicep Day," 4 Apr. 2018 The film reveals that the death of Shandling’s older brother from cystic fibrosis when Shandling was 10 became a pivotal event, reverberating in his relationship with his suddenly clingy mother, his future love affairs, and his quest for honesty., "Judd Apatow memorializes Garry Shandling with documentary," 21 Mar. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of clingy

1702, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about clingy

Statistics for clingy

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for clingy

The first known use of clingy was in 1702

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on clingy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for clingy

Spanish Central: Translation of clingy

Comments on clingy

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


having no equal

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!