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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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Examples from the web for clinging
  • clinging vines can be grown on brick or stone walls and tree trunks.
  • The clinging deciduous vine drops its leaves in winter, and thrives in shade and sun.
  • Bunches of ripe tomatoes still clinging to the vine have become a familiar sight at produce markets.
  • On a busy night, the birds would be clinging to the bricks on the inside of the chimney in overlapping layers.
  • We're clinging to this illusion because hey, being a phoney academic is still better than working as a clerk for wal-mart.
  • Also, no one will give you a badge for guiltily clinging to months-old e-mails you still haven't gotten to yet.
  • clinging onto the idea of serial monogamy is irrational thinking.
  • It crept out of the night only to find its way blocked by an eerie, clinging radiation fog.
  • Not with vague charges of cultural bias still clinging to them.
  • Some of the cleaner fish eat the bacteria clinging to the ray's belly.
British Dictionary definitions for clinging

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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for clinging

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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