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linger

[ling-ger] /ˈlɪŋ gər/
verb (used without object)
1.
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.
2.
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.
3.
to dwell in contemplation, thought, or enjoyment:
to linger over the beauty of a painting.
4.
to be tardy in action; delay; dawdle:
to linger in discharging one's duties.
5.
to walk slowly; saunter along.
verb (used with object)
6.
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.
7.
Archaic. to draw out or protract.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English lengeren to dwell, remain (somewhere), frequentative of lengen, Old English lengan to delay, prolong, literally, lengthen. See long1, -er6
Related forms
lingerer, noun
lingeringly, adverb
outlinger, verb (used with object)
overlinger, verb (used without object)
unlingering, adjective
Synonyms
1, 4. tarry. 1, 5. loiter.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for linger
  • 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.
  • They will, however, not be allowed to linger long at the table.
  • It can linger for many days and defy attempts to remove it.
  • There are intriguing stops along each of these lines, leaving it up to the traveler to decide how long to linger en route.
  • The ridges can linger in a region for several days, warming the air and clearing away clouds.
  • His horse was unnerved by the shadows and scents, so he did not linger.
  • The endorphins linger, delightfully, for hours afterwards.
British Dictionary definitions for linger

linger

/ˈlɪŋɡə/
verb (mainly intransitive)
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
Derived Forms
lingerer, noun
lingering, adjective
lingeringly, adverb
Word Origin
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 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 linger
v.

c.1300, lenger "reside, dwell," northern England frequentative of lengen "to tarry," from Old English lengan "prolong, lengthen," from Proto-Germanic *langjan "to make long" (cf. Old Frisian lendza, Old High German lengan, Dutch lengen "to lengthen"), source of Old English lang (see long (adj.)). Sense of "delay going, depart slowly and unwillingly" is from 1520s. Related: Lingered; lingering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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