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clinging vine

noun, Informal.
a person who behaves in a helpless and dependent manner in relationships with others.
Origin of clinging vine
1960-65, Americanism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for clinging-vine
Historical Examples
  • A man instinctively is drawn to the clinging-vine type of female.

    Cobb's Bill-of-Fare Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb
  • They are a wonderfully level-headed group, these telephone girls, wonderfully unlike their clinging-vine Victorian grandmothers.

  • We used that word at Gresham to describe the girls who have a leaning, clinging-vine way of flopping on you.

  • She looked as if she could be very intense, though she was of that clinging-vine variety of young woman.

    Nothing But the Truth Frederic S. Isham
  • That little subdued, clinging-vine air she has 191 is most appealing to his type.

    Penny of Top Hill Trail Belle Kanaris Maniates
British Dictionary definitions for clinging-vine

clinging vine

(US & Canadian, informal) a woman who displays excessive emotional dependence on a man
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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Idioms and Phrases with clinging-vine

clinging vine

An overly dependent person, as in A clinging vine since her marriage, she's never made a decision on her own. Nearly always applied to a woman (or wife), this metaphor for a climbing plant today criticizes dependency rather than, as in former times, praising the vine's fruitfulness.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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