cling

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clinging vine

A person, typically a woman, whose relationship with someone or others is characterized by emotional overdependence and/or helplessness. I was at first attracted to her intrepid sense of adventure, but when we began dating, it became obvious she was a bit of a clinging vine emotionally.
See also: cling, vine

cling on by (one's) fingernails

1. Literally, to grasp something, such as a cliff, with one's fingernails to avoid falling. The stranded hiker was clinging on by her fingernails until the rescue crew arrived.
2. By extension, to narrowly avoid problems or failure. They're clinging on by their fingernails out there—the other team's offensive is totally overwhelming them. Now that I have three small children to care for, I feel as if I'm clinging on by my fingernails every day.
See also: cling, fingernail, on

cling on by (one's) fingertips

1. Literally, to grasp something, such as a cliff, with one's fingertips to avoid falling. The stranded hiker was clinging on by her fingertips until the rescue crew arrived.
2. By extension, to narrowly avoid problems or failure. They're clinging on by their fingertips out there—the other team's offensive is totally overwhelming them. Now that I have three small children to care for, I feel as if I'm clinging on by my fingertips every day.
See also: cling, fingertip, on

cling to (someone or something)

1. Literally, to hold on to someone or something tightly. The little girl clung to her dad's legs and cried as he tried to leave for work. I clung to the side of the rock and prayed that a search party would find me.
2. By extension, to remain devoted to or entrenched in something, often a belief or opinion. In this ever-changing world, you can't just stubbornly cling to your old beliefs.
See also: cling

cling together

1. Of two or more things, to adhere to one another. The pages in this book are so thin that they usually cling together.
2. Of two or more people, to hold each other tightly. The wind was so strong that we had to cling together just to cross the parking lot!
See also: cling, together

hang on by (one's) fingernails

1. Literally, to grasp something, such as a cliff, with one's fingernails to avoid falling. The stranded hiker was hanging on by her fingernails until the rescue crew arrived.
2. By extension, to narrowly avoid problems or failure. They're hanging on by their fingernails out there—the other team's offensive is totally overwhelming them. Now that I have three small children to care for, I feel as if I'm hanging on by my fingernails every day.
See also: fingernail, hang, on

hang on by (one's) fingertips

1. Literally, to grasp something, such as a cliff, with one's fingertips to avoid falling. The stranded hiker was hanging on by her fingertips until the rescue crew arrived.
2. By extension, to narrowly avoid problems or failure. They're hanging on by their fingertips out there—the other team's offensive is totally overwhelming them. Now that I have three small children to care for, I feel as if I'm hanging on by my fingertips every day.
See also: fingertip, hang, on

cling to someone or something

 
1. Lit. to hold on tight to someone or something. The child clung tightly to his mother. As she drifted in the sea, she clung to a floating log.
2. Fig. to hold onto the thought or memory of someone or something; to have a strong emotional attachment to or dependence on someone or something. Her immigrant parents clung to the old ways. Harold clung to the memory of his grandmother.
See also: cling

cling together

[for two or more people or animals] to hold on tightly to each other. The two children clung together throughout the ordeal. The baby baboon and its mother clung together and could not be separated.
See also: cling, together

clinging vine

An overly dependent person, as in A clinging vine since her marriage, she's never made a decision on her own. Nearly always applied to a woman (or wife), this metaphor for a climbing plant today criticizes dependency rather than, as in former times, praising the vine's fruitfulness.
See also: cling, vine

cling like shit to a shovel

and stick like shit to a shovel
1. in. to stick or adhere [to someone or something] tightly. (Usually objectionable.) That oily stuff sticks like shit to a shovel.
2. in. to be very dependent on someone; to follow someone around. (Often with an indirect object. Usually objectionable.) She’s so dependent. She clings to him like shit to a shovel. He hates her, but he sticks like shit to a shovel.
See also: cling, like, shit, shovel
References in periodicals archive ?
Coleen says: It's all very well telling yourself she won't leave you but the quickest way to make that happen is to be a needy, clingy person.
I've had friends dumped for being too clingy and others for not being clingy enough
She is loving and friendly, without being too needy or clingy.
to look ultra sleek under little black dress or clingy trousers - and to give you an idea of how you'd look if you lose that stone.
Runcorn-born Nicola went for a 1950s touch with her headpiece and jewelled shoes while WAG Abbey, set to marry footballer Peter Crouch, opted for a clingy frock and an oversized clutch.
The next morning she wasn't clingy and we parted as friends, no strings attached.
Q MY daughter has recently become very clingy, needing constant attention and reassurance from me.
Feeling free and sexy in her bright blond hair and clingy yellow tank top, she checks in to a New Jersey halfway house, meets her tough but well-meaning parole officer (Giancarlo Esposito), enjoys a couple of quick sexual encounters and psychs herself up to find a dream job working with children.
It's a good job their shorts aren't made of the same clingy material
The newly released Sensi (pounds 39 for 50mls) is sensory flashback to that period, clingy and rather sweet, this is perfume with a capital P.
A few obstacles stand in the way of his goal, however, including a flaky college counselor (Lily Tomlin); a clingy, alcoholic mother (Catherine O'Hara); and a devoted girlfriend (Schuyler Fisk, Sissy Spacek's daughter), who realizes theft relationship is doomed if he leaves.
Clad in short black dresses and white socks or clingy sheaths, these child-women collapse to the floor only to rebound.
Researchers have informally dubbed it the `Velcro effect;' referring to the clingy commercial material whose entangling fingers close pocket flaps and serve in a host of familiar applications.
I guess I panicked and started to become more clingy with her.
In the vid, the Aussie is seen partying in a clingy gold lame dress and getting cosy with movie hunk Clement Sibony.