cling

\ \ [OE] The basic underlying sense of cling seems to be ‘stick, adhere’, but surviving records of the word in Old English reveal it only in the more specialized senses ‘congeal’ or ‘shrivel’ (the notion being that loss of moisture causes something to contract upon itself or adhere more closely to a surface). It is not really until the late 13th century that the more familiar ‘adhere’ (as in ‘a wet shirt clinging to someone’s back’) begins to show itself, and no hint that ‘clinging’ is something a human being can do with his or her arms emerges before the early 17th century.
\ \ The word goes back to a prehistoric Germanic base *klingg-, whose variant *klengk- is the source of English clench [13] and clinch [16].
\ \ Cf.CLENCH, CLINCH

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • cling — [klıŋ] v past tense and past participle clung [klʌŋ] [: Old English; Origin: clingan] 1.) [always + adverb/preposition] to hold someone or something tightly, especially because you do not feel safe cling to/on/at etc ▪ He wailed and clung to his… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Cling — may refer to: Cling, a song by Days of the New from their 1997 album Days of the New (also known as the Orange album ) Static cling, a natural phenomenon when things stick together caused by static electricity, usually due to rubbing as in a… …   Wikipedia

  • cling — [ klıŋ ] (past tense and past participle clung [ klʌŋ ] ) verb intransitive ** 1. ) to hold onto something or someone tightly with your hands or arms, for example because you are afraid: Crossing the bridge, she felt dizzy and clung to the rails …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • cling — cling·i·ness; cling·ing·ly; cling·ing·ness; cling·stone; mus·cling; cling; …   English syllables

  • cling´er — cling «klihng», verb, clung, cling|ing, noun, adjective. –v.i. 1. to stick or hold fast: »A vine clings to its support. Wet clothes cling to the body. SYNONYM(S): adhere. 2. to grasp; …   Useful english dictionary

  • cling — interj. Cuvânt care imită sunetul clopoţeilor sau al zurgălăilor. ♦ Cuvânt care imită zgomotul produs de vibrarea sau de ciocnirea unor obiecte de metal sau de sticlă. [var.: clinc interj.] – Onomatopee. Trimis de RACAI, 30.09.2003. Sursa: DEX 98 …   Dicționar Român

  • cling|y — «KLIHNG ee», adjective, cling|i|er, cling|i|est. apt to cling; adhesive …   Useful english dictionary

  • Cling — Cling, n. Adherence; attachment; devotion. [R.] [1913 Webster] A more tenacious cling to worldly respects. Milton. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Cling — (kl[i^]ng), v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Clung} (kl[u^]ng), {Clong} (kl[o^]ng), Obs.); p. pr. & vb. n. {Clinging}.] [AS. clingan to adhere, to wither; akin to Dan. klynge to cluster, crowd. Cf. {Clump}.] To adhere closely; to stick; to hold fast,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Cling — Cling, v. t. 1. To cause to adhere to, especially by twining round or embracing. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] I clung legs as close to his side as I could. Swift. [1913 Webster] 2. To make to dry up or wither. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] If thou speak st… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cling — ► VERB (past and past part. clung) (cling to/on to) 1) hold on tightly to. 2) adhere or stick to. 3) remain persistently faithful to. 4) be emotionally dependent on. ORIGIN Old English, related to CLENCH …   English terms dictionary

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