linger

verb
lin·​ger | \ ˈliŋ-gər \
lingered; lingering\ ˈliŋ-​g(ə-​)riŋ \

Definition of linger

intransitive verb

1 : to be slow in parting or in quitting something : tarry fans lingered outside the door
2a : to remain alive although gradually dying was seriously ill, but lingered on for several months
b : to remain existent although often waning in strength, importance, or influence lingering doubts lingering odors
3 : to be slow to act : procrastinate He lingered in settling the estate in order to increase his fees.
4 : to move slowly : saunter lingering homeward

transitive verb

1 obsolete : delay
2 : to pass (a period of time) slowly

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Other Words from linger

lingerer \ ˈliŋ-​gər-​ər \ noun
lingeringly \ ˈliŋ-​g(ə-​)riŋ-​lē \ adverb

Examples of linger in a Sentence

The tourists didn't linger very long. She lingered at the art exhibit. He lingered in bed and missed breakfast. They lingered over coffee after dinner. The heat lingered long after the sun had gone down. The smell of her perfume lingered. The idea lingered in their minds.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The Spore drive, much like poor characterization, is one of the lingering curses from Season One. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "'Star Trek: Discovery' Gets Back to Basics," 25 Jan. 2019 In a series of focus groups, landlords cited the financial risks of participating in the program and lingering discord with city government, where the City Council has passed several new laws favorable to renters. Vernal Coleman, The Seattle Times, "Seattle, King County look to Atlanta program to entice landlords to rent to homeless, but can it work here?," 26 Dec. 2018 These antioxidant-like compounds may help counteract chronic inflammation, a physiological state where your body's cells stay on high alert due to a lingering or past threat. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "The 5 Best Health Benefits of Ginger Water," 11 Jan. 2019 Stars who lingered for photographers on the red carpet missed out on sweet potato vichyssoise. Beth Harris And Lynn Elber, The Seattle Times, "Off-camera at the Globes with Roberts, Ali, Theron," 7 Jan. 2019 In fashion, lingering financial fear, anti-consumerist impulses, and environmental concerns have contributed to the rise of a booming resale market. Eliza Brooke, Vox, "How the Great Recession influenced a decade of design," 27 Dec. 2018 Boer trekkers from the Transvaal passed through but barely lingered. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, "Going Off-Grid in Namibia," 21 Dec. 2018 Coming out of the summer on the West Coast, homes that were expected to spark bidding wars instead lingered on the market, leading to huge spikes in inventory for sale. Jeff Andrews, Curbed, "Housing market signaled potential future downturn in 2018," 21 Dec. 2018 But Sabrina—who lost both parents in a mysterious accident and was raised by her aunts—has some lingering doubts, particularly about preserving her free will. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina," 18 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'linger.' 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 linger

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for linger

Middle English (northern dialect) lengeren to dwell, frequentative of lengen to prolong, from Old English lengan; akin to Old English lang long

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Learn More about linger

Dictionary Entries near linger

lingcod

linge

lingel

linger

lingerie

lingier

lingiest

Statistics for linger

Last Updated

7 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for linger

The first known use of linger was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for linger

linger

verb

English Language Learners Definition of linger

: to stay somewhere beyond the usual or expected time
: to continue to exist as time passes
: to remain alive while becoming weaker

linger

verb
lin·​ger | \ ˈliŋ-gər \
lingered; lingering

Kids Definition of linger

1 : to be slow in leaving : delay We lingered at the park.
2 : to continue to exist as time passes A faint smell of fried fish lingered about the place …— J. K. Rowling, Chamber of Secrets

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More from Merriam-Webster on linger

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with linger

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for linger

Spanish Central: Translation of linger

Nglish: Translation of linger for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of linger for Arabic Speakers

Comments on linger

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