Definition of cling in English:

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Pronunciation: /kliNG/

verb (past and past participle clung /kləNG/)

[no object] (cling to/onto/on)
1(Of a person or animal) hold on tightly to: she clung to Joe’s arm they clung together figurative she clung onto life
More example sentences
  • Call me paranoid, but I've been clinging on tightly to my handbags ever since.
  • She didn't say anything, she just clung to him tightly and he pulled her through the water.
  • Suddenly, Nimue put her arms around her and clung to her tightly as if she never wanted to let her go.
1.1 (cling to) Adhere or stick firmly or closely to; be hard to part or remove from: the smell of smoke clung to their clothes the fabric clung to her smooth skin
More example sentences
  • Still the stain clings, sticks fast like the smell of sin.
  • The clothes clung closely to her slender body, lending her the uneasy feeling of exposure.
  • Like all other Indian restaurants I've been to, its interior decor clings closely to Indian culture.
stick, adhere, hold, cohere, bond, bind
1.2 (cling to) Remain very close to: the fish cling to the line of the weed
More example sentences
  • I began to see clearly how depression had clung close to the outer edges of my life for many years.
  • Aurora clung even closer to Nathan after the encounter with Sylvia, and Ella's eyes seemed to smolder with jealousy.
  • He clung close to his father's arm, gazing wide-eyed around him all the while.
1.3Remain persistently or stubbornly faithful to something: she clung resolutely to her convictions
More example sentences
  • Their managers clung stubbornly to the narrow definition of their enterprise: they were in the railroad business.
  • The Truth could not be revealed to those who clung stubbornly to material values and had not abandoned themselves entirely to the Spiritual World.
  • He still clings stubbornly to his belief in the omnipotence of science and the grandeur of human ambition.
adhere to, hold to, stick to, stand by, abide by, cherish, remain true to, have faith in
informal swear by, stick with
1.4Be overly dependent on someone emotionally: you are clinging to him for security
More example sentences
  • ‘I missed you too, but don't cling child,’ advised her grandma, ‘who's your friend?’
  • If they have to cope with the loss of their friends, teachers and even parents, they will cling physically and emotionally to the remaining adults and carers in their lives.
  • So it was to their mother, Margaret Marie Bragg, that the Bragg boys clung for emotional and physical nurturing.


(also cling peach)
A clingstone peach.
Example sentences
  • I saw a shadow, looked up, Del monte cling peaches coming right on my head.
  • It's more your baby potatoes, peas, cling peaches etc.
  • Edith, a shopping cart, a can of cling peaches in heavy syrup, and a stranger's car don't mix.



Example sentences
  • The few clingers, such as sweet peas, love-in-a-puff, and purple bell vine, do better with string, netting, mesh, or a trellis for support.
  • That makes the spiders the champion surface clingers by a wide margin; the closest insect competitor is an ant, with a safety factor of about 100.
  • As far as I was concerned, Amanda could have these clingers with my blessing.


Old English clingan 'stick together', of Germanic origin; related to Middle Dutch klingen 'adhere', Middle High German klingen 'climb', also to clench.

Words that rhyme with cling

Beijing, bing, bring, Chungking, ding, dingaling, fling, I Ching, king, Kunming, ling, Ming, Nanjing, Peking, ping, ring, sing, Singh, sling, spring, sting, string, swing, Synge, thing, ting, wing, wring, Xining, zing

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cling

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