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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

While this is a large range for the amount of magma that could be lingering in Ciomadul’s subsurface pipes, all the possible subsurface conditions yield a significant amount of melt for Ciomadul. National Geographic, "Magma found simmering under an 'extinct' volcano. Here's what that means.," 17 July 2019 Meghan has had to endure, largely silently, racist and sexist trolling from the far corners of the internet as well as mainstream coverage that lingered breathlessly on a narrative of two women feuding. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, "How Meghan Markle Is Making the Role of Duchess Her Own," 19 May 2019 Expect rain and thunderstorms to linger over Massachusetts Thursday, with potential for a few heavy downpours in the Boston area, the weather service said. Alyssa Lukpat, BostonGlobe.com, "Fires, floods, downed trees in Wednesday’s thunderstorms," 18 July 2019 Time seems to linger longer on this revered Massachusetts island, due south of Cape Cod and east of Martha’s Vineyard. Danica Farley, Orange County Register, "A whale of a time in Nantucket," 17 July 2019 Email access for employees has been restored, along with electronic payments this week, but the lack of access to the email archive is an indication of how the effects of the attack will continue to linger behind the scenes. Ian Duncan, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore email archive still not accessible after cyber attack. What does that mean for records requests?," 5 July 2019 Forecasters expect temperatures to linger in the 80s into the coming week. Richard Read, latimes.com, "Baked Alaska: It’s beach time as a heat wave hits cities across the state," 5 July 2019 There's no time like a long holiday weekend to linger over discounted drinks and eats. Marcy De Luna, Houston Chronicle, "Houston's 12 best happy hour deals to check out right now," 2 July 2019 The goal is to enliven the quaint downtown, drawing pedestrians to linger over coffee or ice cream in these patio areas, known as parklets. Kaitlyn Bartley, The Mercury News, "Can Los Gatos’ bold experiment bring the right kind of traffic downtown?," 1 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about linger

Dictionary Entries near linger

lingcod

linge

lingel

linger

lingerie

lingier

lingiest

Statistics for linger

Last Updated

8 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for linger

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up linger? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

of or relating to the heavens

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!