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From Middle English clingen, from Old English clingan (“to adhere”), from Proto-West Germanic *klingan, from Proto-Germanic *klinganą. Cognate with Danish klynge (“to cluster, to crowd”). Compare clump.
- Fruit (especially peach) whose flesh adheres strongly to the pit.
- 1908, O. Henry, Hostages to Momus:
- Antelope steaks and fried liver to begin on, and venison cutlets with chili con carne and pineapple fritters, and then some sardines and mixed pickles; and top it off with a can of yellow clings and a bottle of beer.
- adherence; attachment; devotion
- 1641, John Milton, Animadversions upon the Remonstrants Defence against Smectymnuus; republished in A Complete Collection of the Historical, Political, and Miscellaneous Works of John Milton, […], volume I, Amsterdam [actually London: s.n.], 1698, →OCLC, page 139:
- a more tenacious cling to worldly reſpects,
- An ornament that clings to a window so as to be seen from outside.
- Synonym: cling-on
- 2004, Diane M. Hyde, Year-Round Classroom Tips:
- You can make window clings by using thin transparency sheets, school glue, food coloring, and templates.
- To hold very tightly, as to not fall off.
- 1823, Felicia Dorothea Browne Hemans, The Vespers of Palermo, Act the First:
- And what hath life for thee / That thou shouldst cling to it thus?
- 1950 February, W. Dendy, “Impressions of the Indian Railways—3”, in Railway Magazine, page 120:
- Third-class carriages are grossly overcrowded, with passengers lying on the luggage racks, standing between the benches, and occasionally even riding on the footboards and clinging to the outsides of the coaches for short distances.
- 2017, Jennifer S. Holland, For These Monkeys, It’s a Fight for Survival., National Geographic (March 2017)
- Cartoonish, wide-eyed infants cling to their mothers or play together low to the ground.
- To adhere to an object, without being affixed, in such a way as to follow its contours. Used especially of fabrics and films.
- (transitive) To cause to adhere to, especially by twining round or embracing.
- 1732, Jonathan Swift, An Examination of Certain Abuses in the City of Dublin:
- I […] clung my legs as close to his sides as I could.
- (transitive) To cause to dry up or wither.
- c. 1606 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act V, scene v]:
- If thou speak'st false, / Upon the next tree shalt thou hang alive, / Till famine cling thee.
- (intransitive) To dry up or wither.
- Wood clings.
- (figurative, with preposition to) To be fond of, to feel strongly about and dependent on.
(figuratively) feel strongly about
- “cling”, in The Century Dictionary […], New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911, →OCLC.
- “cling”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.
- To produce a high-pitched ringing sound, like a small bell.
- 1913, Cleveland Moffett, Oliver Herford, The Bishop's Purse, page 121:
- The tiny chimes clinged the hours and quarters against his right and Kate's left ear. They counted nine and three-quarters.
- 2003, Femi Abodunrin, The Dancing Masquerade, page 24:
- The latter, armed with the most famous tool of their trade — tiny clinging bells — created a small band of untrained orchestra giving their part of the market a festive outlook […]
- Imitative of a high-pitched ringing sound.
- Alternative form of