What does linger mean?

Definitions for linger
ˈlɪŋ gərlin·ger

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word linger.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. lingerverb

    remain present although waning or gradually dying

    "Her perfume lingered on"

  2. loiter, lounge, footle, lollygag, loaf, lallygag, hang around, mess about, tarry, linger, lurk, mill about, mill aroundverb

    be about

    "The high school students like to loiter in the Central Square"; "Who is this man that is hanging around the department?"

  3. tarry, lingerverb

    leave slowly and hesitantly

  4. linger, dawdleverb

    take one's time; proceed slowly

  5. hover, lingerverb

    move to and fro

    "The shy student lingered in the corner"


  1. lingerverb

    To stay or remain in a place or situation, especially as if unwilling to depart or not easily able to do so.

  2. lingerverb

    To remain alive or existent although still proceeding toward death or extinction; to die gradually.

  3. lingerverb

    To consider or contemplate for a period of time; to engage in analytical thinking or discussion.

  4. Etymology: leng "to lengthen, delay" (11-16 centuries), from Old English lengan, probably of Indo-European origin (cognates include persian لنگ)

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To Lingerverb

    To protract; to draw out to length. Out of use.

    I can get no remedy against this consumption of the purse. Borrowing only lingers and lingers it out, but the disease is incurable. William Shakespeare, Henry IV. p. i.

    She lingers my desires. William Shakespeare.

    Let your brief plagues be mercy,
    And linger not our sure destructions on. William Shakespeare.

  2. To Lingerverb

    Etymology: from leng , Saxon, long.

    Like wretches, that have linger’d long,
    We’ll snatch the strongest cordial of our love. Dryden.

    Better to rush at once to shades below,
    Than linger life away, and nourish woe. Alexander Pope, Odyssey.

    Perhaps thou ling’rest, in deep thoughts detain’d
    Of th’ enterprize so hazardous and high. Paradise Reg.

    Let order die,
    And let this world no longer be a stage
    To feed contention in a ling’ring act. William Shakespeare, Henry IV.

    Ye breth’ren of the lyre, and tuneful voice,
    Lament his lot; but at your own rejoice.
    Now live secure, and linger out your days;
    The gods are pleas’d alone with Purcel’s lays. Dryden.

    Your very fear of death shall make ye try
    To catch the shade of immortality;
    Wishing on earth to linger, and to save
    Part of its prey from the devouring grave. Matthew Prior.

    We have lingered about a match between Anne Page and my cousin Slender, and this day we shall have our answer. William Shakespeare, Merry Wives of Windsor.

    I must sollicit
    All his concerns as mine:
    And if my eyes have pow’r, he should not sue
    In vain, nor linger with a long delay. John Dryden, Cleomenes.

    She doth think, she has strange ling’ring poisons. William Shakespeare.


  1. Linger

    Linger is a song by Australian recording artist Guy Sebastian featuring American rapper Lupe Fiasco. It was released as the fourth single from Sebastian's seventh studio album, Madness (2014). "Linger" peaked at number 17 on the ARIA Singles Chart and was certified platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association for shipments exceeding 70,000 shipments.


  1. linger

    Linger generally means to stay in a place or remain for a longer period of time than expected or necessary. It can also refer to delaying or hesitating in leaving a place or concluding an activity. Additionally, linger can describe an action or feeling of continuing to exist or be present in someone's mind or memory after a certain event or interaction.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Lingeradjective

    to delay; to loiter; to remain or wait long; to be slow or reluctant in parting or moving; to be slow in deciding; to be in suspense; to hesitate

  2. Lingerverb

    to protract; to draw out

  3. Lingerverb

    to spend or pass in a lingering manner; -- with out; as, to linger out one's days on a sick bed


  1. Linger

    "Linger" is a song composed by Irish musicians Dolores O'Riordan and Noel Hogan of the rock band The Cranberries, released in 1993. The song, which has an acoustic arrangement featuring a string section, became the band's first major hit, peaking at #3 in the Republic of Ireland, #8 in the United States and #14 in the UK. In the documentary '99 Love Life & Rock 'n' Roll, O'Riordan says that the song is about her first serious kiss. "Linger" was listed as #86 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 90s.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Linger

    ling′gėr, v.i. to remain long in any state: to loiter.—v.t. (Shak.) to prolong, protract: (with out) to pass in a tedious manner.—n. Ling′erer.—adj. Ling′ering, protracted.—n. a remaining long.—advs. Ling′eringly; Ling′erly (rare). [A.S. lengan, to protract—lang, long.]

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Linger is ranked #15052 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Linger surname appeared 1,962 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 1 would have the surname Linger.

    95.4% or 1,872 total occurrences were White.
    1.5% or 31 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    1.4% or 29 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    1% or 21 total occurrences were Asian.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce linger?

How to say linger in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of linger in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of linger in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of linger in a Sentence

  1. Chen Lifang:

    Huawei is very concerned about misunderstandings which continue to linger despite our best efforts in recent years, huawei is committed to being even more open and transparent for not only this year but the foreseeable future.

  2. Janice Dickinson:

    I hope the women get help from an expert that they deserve, and I hope that this can send a big message for women all over to get help immediately, go have a rape test if you get raped and seek proper justice immediately. Don't let it linger for seven years or else you'll have lost your spot in the statute of limitations.

  3. Lucius Annaeus Seneca:

    The primary sign of a well-ordered mind is a man's ability to remain in one place and linger in his own company.

  4. Murat Toprak:

    What has created a bit of volatility is  maybe some changing in the wording of the government programme with regards to the central bank mandate that has triggered that question mark in the market, these sort of questions linger for a long time in the market.

  5. Thomas Filingeri:

    Facts and truth go hand in hand, propaganda just makes people angry without knowing the truth. Propaganda is like blowing smoke in the face, it pisses you off, but then it's gone, facts linger and sooner or later you'll have to face them.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for linger

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    cause to feel shame; hurt the pride of
    A summon
    B denudate
    C abase
    D render

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