cling (v.)

Old English clingan "hold fast, adhere closely; congeal, shrivel" (strong verb, past tense clang, past participle clungen), from Proto-Germanic *klingg- (source also of 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.

updated on May 28, 2013

Definitions of cling from WordNet
cling (v.)
come or be in close contact with; stick or hold together and resist separation;
The dress clings to her body
Synonyms: cleave / adhere / stick / cohere
cling (v.)
to remain emotionally or intellectually attached;
He clings to the idea that she might still love him.
cling (v.)
hold on tightly or tenaciously;
The child clung to his mother's apron
Synonyms: hang
cling (n.)
fruit (especially peach) whose flesh adheres strongly to the pit;
Synonyms: clingstone
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