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ling1

[ling] /lɪŋ/
noun, plural (especially collectively) ling (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) lings.
1.
an elongated, marine, gadid food fish, Molva molva, of Greenland and northern Europe.
2.
the burbot.
3.
any of various other elongated food fishes.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English ling, lenge; cognate with Dutch leng; akin to long1, Old Norse langa

ling2

[ling] /lɪŋ/
noun
1.
the heather, Calluna vulgaris.
Origin
1325-75; Middle English lyng < Old Norse lyng

-ling1

1.
a suffix of nouns, often pejorative, denoting one concerned with (hireling; underling), or diminutive (princeling; duckling).
Origin
Middle English, Old English; cognate with German -ling, Old Norse -lingr, Gothic -lings; see -le, -ing1

-ling2

1.
an adverbial suffix expressing direction, position, state, etc.:
darkling; sideling.
Origin
Middle English, Old English; adv. use of gradational variant lang long1

ling.

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for ling

ling1

/lɪŋ/
noun (pl) ling, lings
1.
any of several gadoid food fishes of the northern coastal genus Molva, esp M. molva, having an elongated body with long fins
2.
another name for burbot
Word Origin
C13: probably from Low German; related to long1

ling2

/lɪŋ/
noun
1.
another name for heather (sense 1)
Derived Forms
lingy, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old Norse lyng

ling.

abbreviation
1.
linguistics

-ling1

suffix
1.
(often derogatory) a person or thing belonging to or associated with the group, activity, or quality specified: nestling, underling
2.
used as a diminutive: duckling
Word Origin
Old English -ling, of Germanic origin; related to Icelandic -lingr, Gothic -lings

-ling2

suffix
1.
in a specified condition, manner, or direction: darkling, sideling
Word Origin
Old English -ling, adverbial suffix
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 ling
n.

long, slender fish, c.1300, common Germanic, cf. Dutch leng, German Leng, Old Norse langa, probably ultimately related to long (adj.).

-ling

diminutive word-forming element, early 14c., from Old English -ling a nominal suffix (not originally diminutive), from Proto-Germanic *-linga-; attested in historical Germanic languages as a simple suffix, but probably representing a fusion of the suffixes represented by English -le (cf. icicle, thimble, handle), from Old English -ol, -ul, -el; and -ing, suffix indicating "person or thing of a specific kind or origin;" in masculine nouns also "son of" (cf. farthing, atheling, Old English horing "adulterer, fornicator").

Both these suffixes had occasional diminutive force, but this was only slightly evident in Old English -ling and its equivalents in Germanic languages except Norse, where it commonly was used as a diminutive suffix, especially in words designating the young of animals (e.g. gæslingr "gosling"). Thus it is possible that the diminutive use that developed in Middle English is from Old Norse.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Related Abbreviations for ling

ling.

linguistics
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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