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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 from the web for lingering
  • The lingering effects from breathing the ground zero toxins are still emerging.
  • The paychecks of professors continue to be squeezed by the lingering effects of the recession.
  • Leprosy brings lingering misery, and tuberculosis can last for years.
  • It's uncomfortable and there is some lingering stress surrounding it.
  • After a bout of the flu, lingering germs can wreak havoc on the weakened immune system.
  • They slink seaward mostly at night to avoid predators, lingering in brackish estuaries to gather strength.
  • Each area of the garden is filled with interesting details that invite lingering looks.
  • But this pat explanation obscures a lingering paradox of depression, which is that the mental illness is extremely common.
  • If there was any lingering doubt, the latest data confirm that housing is still in a deep and broad recession.
  • There is enough lingering charm to toy with the memories of her admirers.
British Dictionary definitions for lingering

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 lingering

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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