Meaning of “cling” in the English Dictionary

"cling" in British English

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uk /klɪŋ/ us /klɪŋ/ clung, clung

cling verb (HOLD)

C2 [ I + adv/prep ] to stick onto or hold something or someone tightly, or to refuse to stop holding it, him, or her:

We got so wet that our clothes clung to us.
They clung together in terror as the screams grew louder.
One little girl was clinging onto a cuddly toy.
She clung to the handrail as she walked down the slippery steps.

More examples

  • A few wisps of hay still clung to her skirt.
  • Kate was still clinging to the wreckage of her failed marriage.
  • She clung to my hand as we entered the doctor's surgery.
  • They discovered four men clinging to a piece of wood in the choppy seas.
  • Her wet hair clung to her face.
adjective uk /ˈklɪŋ.ɪŋ/ us /ˈklɪŋ.ɪŋ/ also clingy

(Definition of “cling” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"cling" in American English

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clingverb [ I ]

us /klɪŋ/ past tense and past participle clung /klʌŋ/

to hold tightly or to stick; to refuse to stop holding:

They clung together in terror.
We were soaking wet and our clothes clung to us.
fig. Farmers and herders cling to the valleys (= stay in the valleys) where the soil is less sandy.

(Definition of “cling” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)