cling / kling/ • v. (past and past part. clung / kləng/ ) [intr.] (cling to/onto/on) (of a person or animal) hold on tightly to: she clung to Joe's arm fig. she clung onto life. ∎ (cling to) adhere or stick firmly or closely to; be hard to part or remove from: the fabric clung to her smooth skin. ∎ (cling to) remain very close to: the fish cling to the line of the weed. ∎ remain persistently or stubbornly faithful to something: she clung resolutely to her convictions. ∎ be overly dependent on someone emotionally: you are clinging to him for security. DERIVATIVES: cling·er n.