noun (1)
\ ˈliŋ How to pronounce ling (audio) \

Definition of ling

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : any of various fishes (such as a hake or burbot) of the cod family
2 : lingcod


noun (2)

Definition of ling (Entry 2 of 4)

: a heath plant especially : a common Old World heather (Calluna vulgaris)


noun suffix

Definition of -ling (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : one connected with or having the quality of hireling
2 : young, small, or inferior one duckling


adverb suffix
variants: or -lings

Definition of -ling (Entry 4 of 4)

: in (such) a direction or manner sideling flatling

First Known Use of ling

Noun (1)

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ling

Noun (1)

Middle English; akin to Dutch leng ling, Old English lang long

Noun (2)

Middle English, from Old Norse lyng

Noun suffix

Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old English -ing

Adverb suffix

Middle English -ling (from Old English), -linges (from -ling + -es -s); akin to Old High German -lingūn -ling, Old English lang long

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Time Traveler for ling

Time Traveler

The first known use of ling was in the 13th century

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Cite this Entry

“Ling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for ling


noun suffix

English Language Learners Definition of -ling

: one connected with or having the quality of
: young, small, or minor one


noun suffix
\ ling \

Kids Definition of -ling

1 : one associated with nestling
2 : young, small, or minor one duckling

More from Merriam-Webster on ling Encyclopedia article about ling


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