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cling1

[kling] /klɪŋ/
verb (used without object), clung, clinging.
1.
to adhere closely; stick to:
The wet paper clings to the glass.
2.
to hold tight, as by grasping or embracing; cleave:
The children clung to each other in the dark.
3.
to be or remain close:
The child clung to her mother's side.
4.
to remain attached, as to an idea, hope, memory, etc.:
Despite the predictions, the candidate clung to the belief that he would be elected.
5.
to cohere.
noun
6.
the act of clinging; adherence; attachment.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English clingen, Old English clingan to stick together, shrink, wither; akin to clench
Related forms
clinger, noun
clingingly, adverb
clingingness, noun
unclinging, adjective
Synonyms
2. clutch, grab, hug.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for clingers

cling

/klɪŋ/
verb (intransitive) clings, clinging, clung
1.
(often foll by to) to hold fast or adhere closely (to something), as by gripping or sticking
2.
(foll by together) to remain in contact (with each other)
3.
to be or remain physically or emotionally close: to cling to outmoded beliefs
noun
4.
(agriculture, mainly US) the tendency of cotton fibres in a sample to stick to each other
5.
(agriculture, obsolete) diarrhoea or scouring in animals
6.
short for clingstone
Derived Forms
clinging, adjective
clinger, noun
clingingly, adverb
clingy, adjective
clinginess, clingingness, noun
Word Origin
Old English clingan; related to clench
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for clingers

cling

v.

Old English clingan "hold fast, adhere closely; congeal, shrivel" (strong verb, past tense clang, past participle clungen), from Proto-Germanic *klingg- (cf. Danish klynge "to cluster;" Old High German klinga "narrow gorge;" Old Norse klengjask "press onward;" Danish klinke, Dutch klinken "to clench;" German Klinke "latch").

The main sense shifted in Middle English to "adhere to" (something else), "stick together." Of persons in embrace, c.1600. Figuratively (to hopes, outmoded ideas, etc.), from 1580s. Of clothes from 1792. Related: Clung; clinging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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11
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