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From Middle English clingen, Old English clingan(to adhere), from Proto-Germanic *klinganą; akin to Danish klynge(to cluster, to crowd). Compare clump.


cling (plural clings)

  1. 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.
  2. adherence; attachment; devotion
    • Milton
      A more tenacious cling to worldly respects.


cling (third-person singular simple present clings, present participle clinging, simple past and past participle clung)

  1. To hold very tightly, as to not fall off.
    Seaweed clung to the anchor.
    • Mrs. Hemans
      And what hath life for thee / That thou shouldst cling to it thus?
  2. To adhere to an object, without being affixed, in such a way as to follow its contours. Used especially of fabrics and films.
  3. (transitive) To cause to adhere to, especially by twining round or embracing.
    • Jonathan Swift
      I clung legs as close to his side as I could.
  4. (transitive) To cause to dry up or wither.
    • Shakespeare
      If thou speak'st false, / Upon the next tree shalt thou hang alive, / Till famine cling thee.
  5. (figuratively, with preposition to) to be fond of, to feel strongly about

Derived terms[edit]



  1. ^ Oxford-Paravia Concise - Dizionario Inglese-Italiano e Italiano-Inglese (in collaborazione con Oxford University Press). Edited by Maria Cristina Bareggi. Torino: Paravia, 2003. ISBN 8839551107. Online version