Definition of clinging in US English:



  • 1(of a garment) fitting closely to the body and showing its shape.

    ‘she was wearing a clinging black dress’
    • ‘She found herself in the brown tight jeans and equally as clinging long sleeve gray shirt that had a very tall collar.’
    • ‘She could see his muscles ripple under his clinging shirt.’
    • ‘Their hairdresser of choice was Kenneth, who created Jackie's trademark bouffant, and advised Marilyn to dye her pubic hair blonde so that it didn't show through her clinging clothes.’
    • ‘The second is the glamorous Lady Stephens in a clinging white trouser suit and black boots.’
    • ‘He points to her short, clinging dress and elegant heels.’
    • ‘Nothing else in this comedy moves as freely as his portly stomach, which wobbles heftily inside his clinging outfit.’
    • ‘It wasn't skin tight, but was extremely clingy and you could certainly see features of her body highlighted by the clinging material.’
    • ‘Federon puffed out his chest, delighted by the sudden attention, allowing his eyes to affix themselves to the neckline of Kendra's clinging top.’
    • ‘Even the outline of the piece of cloth she used to tie back her breasts was outlined by the clinging clothes.’
    • ‘A gang of Trolls and Orcs appeared out of a portal along with a gang of Shaman-Mages and unnaturally pale and thin women in clinging black clothes.’
    • ‘She was a demanding and clinging mother.’
    • ‘She was wearing a clinging red dress, bright as the petals of a poison flower.’
    • ‘I tried not to notice how the clinging clothes accentuated her figure.’
    • ‘She was dressed in a long clinging black dress that showed off her curves.’
    • ‘Petrenko arrived three hours into the party in a clinging black pants outfit and siren-red lipstick.’
    • ‘Even at that she is badly served by a frumpy blonde wig and clinging dresses that make her look more like a dumpy middle-aged housewife.’
    tight, tight-fitting, close-fitting, figure-hugging, skintight, sheath-like
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  • 2Overly dependent on someone emotionally.

    ‘she wasn't the clinging type’
    • ‘She is a clinging, alcoholic, older woman who turns into the invading ‘monster’ of the film.’
    • ‘Dependent personality disorder is described as a pervasive and excessive need to be taken care of that leads to a submissive and clinging behavior as well as fears of separation.’
    • ‘Through projective identification, the clinging and overtly dependent borderline partner can express the split-off dependency needs of both.’


  • clinging vine

    • A person who is submissively dependent on another.

      • ‘If she is not this clinging vine, she is apt to rise superior to him, assert herself over him, and, after a while, humble him.’
      • ‘Mama wants to see me as a clinging vine being shielded by a big strong man, and you fit the bill.’
      • ‘Everyone knew this 27 year old actress was no clinging vine they could order around like a silly chorus girl.’