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

That elusive impression is the one that lingers out of so many. Emmanuel Iduma, The New York Review of Books, "‘Gone Like a Meteor’: Epitaph for the Lost Youth of the Biafran War," 30 May 2019 The new research, published this week in the journal Science Advances, suggests that these inclusions are tiny time capsules of the sediments that once lingered in ancient oceans. Maya Wei-haas, National Geographic, "Earth's seafloor may be destined to become diamonds," 30 May 2019 The implosion, which took 16 seconds, created a thick plume of dust that lingered for several minutes. Michael Rubinkam, The Seattle Times, "Defunct steelmaker’s 21-story headquarters imploded," 19 May 2019 For all the deserved criticism that lingers around ex-Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli, both in Boston and Edmonton, wooing Krug as a free agent out of Michigan State ranks among his best moves on Causeway Street. Kevin Paul Dupont, BostonGlobe.com, "Torey Krug wants to remain a Bruin — at the right price," 22 June 2019 In blackberries, there is a bitter taste that lingers. Calvin Finch, ExpressNews.com, "How to stop the bugs eating your tomatoes, peaches," 21 June 2019 Few video game series immerse their players as Final Fantasy, a role-playing game known for team dynamics, rich fantastical worlds and stories that linger. Trevor Fraser, orlandosentinel.com, "Music of Final Fantasy set to transport audience at Dr. Phillips Center," 18 June 2019 Don’t become a negative voice that will linger inside that developing mind. Michael Scott, cleveland.com, "One more time with new feelings: Fatherhood 2.0," 16 June 2019 After going scoreless in the first half, Curry poured in 33 points in a game that sent the Rockets into a spiritual free-fall that lingers to this day. Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, "The Warriors’ season crashed, but it was one to remember," 15 June 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

11 Jul 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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