Why was clemency trending last week?


[kluhng] /klʌŋ/
simple past tense and past participle of cling.


[kling] /klɪŋ/
verb (used without object), clung, clinging.
to adhere closely; stick to:
The wet paper clings to the glass.
to hold tight, as by grasping or embracing; cleave:
The children clung to each other in the dark.
to be or remain close:
The child clung to her mother's side.
to remain attached, as to an idea, hope, memory, etc.:
Despite the predictions, the candidate clung to the belief that he would be elected.
to cohere.
the act of clinging; adherence; attachment.
Origin of cling1
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
2. clutch, grab, hug. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for clung
  • It clung to the false memory, preferring it to more literal happenstance.
  • At times waves came over the flight deck, and crews clung desperately to their planes to keep them from going into the sea.
  • Bodies washed up with all the skin abraded from their arms where they had clung to the doomed boat's gunwales.
  • If he clung to the gaiety of the beau, he never knew the beau's cynicism.
  • Such heads of houses and fellows as clung to the old faith either withdrew or were expelled.
  • The tin soldier did not speak, but clung still tighter to his gun.
  • He rushed in, and with both his hands clutched the rock, whereto he clung till the great wave went by.
  • It has been clung to and played out again and again as an exceedingly high trump by this blessed trio.
  • The fallen statesman still clung to his project with unabated ardor.
  • These former monopolies have clung on to a large proportion of the fixed lines that they ran under state control.
British Dictionary definitions for clung


the past tense and past participle of cling


verb (intransitive) clings, clinging, clung
(often foll by to) to hold fast or adhere closely (to something), as by gripping or sticking
(foll by together) to remain in contact (with each other)
to be or remain physically or emotionally close: to cling to outmoded beliefs
(agriculture, mainly US) the tendency of cotton fibres in a sample to stick to each other
(agriculture, obsolete) diarrhoea or scouring in animals
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for clung

Old English clungen, past tense and past participle of cling.



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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for clung

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for clung

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with clung

Nearby words for clung