linger

verb
lin·​ger | \ ˈliŋ-gər How to pronounce linger (audio) \
lingered; lingering\ ˈliŋ-​g(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce lingering (audio) \

Definition of linger

intransitive verb

1 : to be slow in parting or in quitting something : tarry fans lingered outside the door
2a : to remain existent although often waning in strength, importance, or influence lingering doubts lingering odors
b : to remain alive although gradually dying was seriously ill, but lingered on for several months
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 : to pass (a period of time) slowly
2 obsolete : delay

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Other Words from linger

lingerer \ ˈliŋ-​gər-​ər How to pronounce lingerer (audio) \ noun
lingeringly \ ˈliŋ-​g(ə-​)riŋ-​lē How to pronounce lingeringly (audio) \ 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

Similar to how Starbucks fills orders, Glossier customers linger to hear their names called out—via megaphone—then collect their purchases from a pick-up window. Kate Bowers, Fortune, "Testing the Luxury Shoe Market With a Salon on Wheels," 16 Sep. 2019 And the extent of the storm’s terror lingers on in the minds of many. Washington Post, "As shock wears off, mental health concerns grow in Bahamas," 16 Sep. 2019 Others shared a similar, lingering anxiety about the flames and questions about whether the tinderbox conditions would continue next summer. Tegan Hanlon, Anchorage Daily News, "‘This town is just exhausted’: Cooper Landing wrestles with aftermath of a summer lost to wildfire," 15 Sep. 2019 The pain subsided, but the scare lingered in the back of his mind. Shayna Rubin, The Mercury News, "Despite Mike Fiers’ scare on the mound, Athletics power out a win over Rangers," 14 Sep. 2019 The Reds went on to win the match 3-1 thanks to a brace from Sadio Mané and a lovely strike by Mohamed Salah, but concerns lingered over the wellbeing of Origi, who twisted his ankle in a challenge with Newcastle forward Miguel Almiron. SI.com, "Jurgen Klopp Provides Injury Update on Liverpool Striker Divock Origi Following Newcastle Win," 14 Sep. 2019 Also listed as questionable is center Daniel Kilgore, who apparently suffered a shoulder injury this week, and defensive end Charles Harris, who has been battling a wrist injury that’s lingered since the spring. Omar Kelly, sun-sentinel.com, "Dolphins’ Reshad Jones, Albert Wilson ruled out against Patriots," 13 Sep. 2019 The Post retracted that particular falsehood about Vance, but the larger canard will linger. Nr Editors, National Review, "The Week," 12 Sep. 2019 Ben-Eliyahu has focused on the drugs' potential to prevent metastasis after surgery, when residual disease often lingers around the surgical site or in distant parts of the body. Kelly Servick, Science | AAAS, "How the body’s nerves become accomplices in the spread of cancer," 12 Sep. 2019

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

19 Sep 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 How to pronounce linger (audio) \
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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