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

Instead, analysts say, the pressure on the pound is political in nature, a result of lingering uncertainty about the possibility of Brexit negotiations and the potential for another election. Adam Taylor, Washington Post, "How Brexit ravaged the once-mighty British pound," 15 Aug. 2019 Time moves slower here, perfect for lingering along the Sunshine Coast Highway to look for seals, porpoises, bald eagles, and river otters. Outside Online, "The Best Places to Savor Fall in British Columbia," 14 Aug. 2019 Injuries are always concerning, especially with the US Open lingering on the schedule in two weeks. Adam Baum, Cincinnati.com, "World No. 1 Naomi Osaka withdraws mid-match from Western & Southern Open with injury," 14 Aug. 2019 The former Blue Jays outfielder crashed into the center field fence in Philadelphia attempting to rob a J.T. Realmuto home run on Thursday and is dealing with lingering soreness in his hip and back. Kerry Crowley, The Mercury News, "Roles starting to shift for Giants as dust settles following the trade deadline," 2 Aug. 2019 Also, let’s be honest: Brutalism isn’t built for lingering. Caille Millner, SFChronicle.com, "Should the Glen Park BART Station really be on the National Historic registry?," 2 Aug. 2019 At the very least, wait until late afternoon with the sun lingering to the west, ensuring the studio is brightly lit. Scott Craven, azcentral, "Here are 10 of Arizona's most photogenic spots. Some of them might surprise you," 26 July 2019 For those who like dark beers, the Porter (5.7%) is a fine option; it's dark, roasty with lingering chocolate and a smooth finish. Brian Manzullo, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan's Upper Peninsula: The top 7 breweries you must visit," 24 July 2019 Be wary of lingering water inside buildings after a flood. National Geographic, "Flood safety tips," 23 July 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

22 Aug 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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