verb (used without object)
to remain or stay on in a place longer than is usual or expected, as if from reluctance to leave: We lingered awhile after the party.
to remain alive; continue or persist, although gradually dying, ceasing, disappearing, etc.: She lingered a few months after the heart attack. Such practices still linger among the older natives.
to dwell in contemplation, thought, or enjoyment: to linger over the beauty of a painting.
to be tardy in action; delay; dawdle: to linger in discharging one's duties.
to walk slowly; saunter along.
verb (used with object)
to pass (time, life, etc.) in a leisurely or a tedious manner (usually followed by away or out ): We lingered away the whole summer at the beach.
Archaic. to draw out or protract.

1250–1300; Middle English lengeren to dwell, remain (somewhere), frequentative of lengen, Old English lengan to delay, prolong, literally, lengthen. See long1, -er6

lingerer, noun
lingeringly, adverb
outlinger, verb (used with object)
overlinger, verb (used without object)
unlingering, adjective

1, 4. tarry. 1, 5. loiter. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
linger (ˈlɪŋɡə)
1.  to delay or prolong departure
2.  to go in a slow or leisurely manner; saunter
3.  to remain just alive for some time prior to death
4.  to persist or continue, esp in the mind
5.  to be slow to act; dither; procrastinate
[C13 (northern dialect) lengeren to dwell, from lengen to prolong, from Old English lengan; related to Old Norse lengja; see long1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, lenger "reside, dwell," freq. of lengen "to tarry," from O.E. lengan "prolong, lengthen," from P.Gmc. *langijanan (cf. Du. lengen "to lengthen"), source of O.E. lang "long."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The goal, of course, is to see where their eyes move and where they linger and
  then devise ways to get them to linger longer.
It signals they're okay with any awkwardness that might linger.
Materials they intended to review lie unattended in their laps while they
  linger in the previous night.
He was in no hurry, and he liked to linger by the wayside.
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