Word forms: clings
If you cling to someone or something, you hold onto them tightly. [V + to/onto] ⇒ Another man was rescued as he clung to the riverbank. [V to/onto n] ⇒ She had to cling onto the door handle until the pain passed. [V + together] ⇒ They hugged each other, clinging together under the lights.
2. verb If someone clings to a position or a possession they have, they do everything they can to keep it even though this may be very difficult. [V + to/onto] ⇒ He appears determined to cling to power. [V + on] ⇒ Another minister clung on with a majority of only 18. [V + on to] ⇒ Japan's productivity has overtaken America in some industries, but elsewhere the United States has clung on to its lead. 3. verb Clothes that cling to you stay pressed against your body when you move. [V to n] ⇒ His sodden trousers were clinging to his shins. clinging
graded adjective [usu ADJ n] ⇒ ...clinging black garments. 4. verb
Something that is clinging to something else is stuck on it or just attached to it. [V to n] ⇒ Her glass had bits of orange clinging to the rim.
5. verb If someone clings to a person they are fond of, they do not allow that person to be free or independent. [disapproval] [V to n] ⇒ I was terrified he would leave me, so I was clinging to him.
clinging graded adjective ⇒ She was anxious not to appear clinging.
6. verb If you cling to an idea or way of behaving, you continue to believe in its value or importance, even though it may no longer be valid or useful. [V to n] ⇒ They know scholars reject their legend, but they still cling to their belief. [V to n] ⇒ They're clinging to the past.
COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary. Copyright © Harper Collins Publishers