cling

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Related to clinger: try hard
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cling like shit to a shovel

1. rude slang To adhere to something very securely. This glue clings like shit to a shovel—good luck getting it off your hands.
2. rude slang By extension, to rely on someone excessively or spend a lot of time with them. Why are you clinging like shit to a shovel? Don't you have something better to do?
See also: cling, like, shit, shovel

cling on (to someone or something)

1. Literally, to hold on (to someone or something) very tightly. The little girl clung on to her dad's legs and cried as he tried to leave for work. I just kept clinging on and praying that a search party would find me dangling from the side of the rock.
2. To remain devoted to or entrenched in something, especially in a stubborn or desperate manner. In this ever-changing world, you can't just stubbornly cling on to your old beliefs. I really hate my job, but if I can just cling on for a little while longer, I'll have enough money saved up to change careers.
3. To remain in close, persistent contact with someone, especially in a desperate, helpless, or emotionally overdependent manner. I wish my younger brother would stop clinging on like that whenever I go out with my friends. He's starting to really embarrass me. That brownnosing little twerp just clings on to the boss all day long, agreeing with whatever he says.
See also: cling, on, someone

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: by, 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: by, cling, fingertip, on

cling to (one) like shit to a shovel

rude slang To rely on someone excessively or spend a lot of time with them, often when doing so is unwelcome or annoying. Why are you clinging to me like shit to a shovel? Don't you have something better to do?
See also: cling, like, shit, shovel

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

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

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: by, 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: by, fingertip, hang, on
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

clinging vine

An extremely dependent person. Today this term is mildly pejorative—such a person is not considered particularly admirable—but earlier uses of this figure of speech carry no such criticism. Indeed, the vine in question, nearly always a woman or wife, was also praised for potential or actual fruitfulness (i.e., childbearing ability). “Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house,” says the Book of Psalms (128:3).
See also: cling, vine

grasp at straws, to

To make a hopeless effort to save oneself. The term comes from the ancient image of a drowning man clutching at insubstantial reeds in an attempt to save himself, and it often was put as to catch or clutch at straws. It appeared in print as early as the sixteenth century and soon was regarded as a proverb. Indeed, Samuel Richardson so identifies it in Clarissa (1748): “A drowning man will catch at a straw, the proverb well says.” An earlier usage is “We do not as men redie to be drowned, catch at euery straw” (John Prime, Fruitful and Brief Discourse, 1583).
See also: grasp
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Clinger started his career writing for television and later switched to books.
Attempts by 7-Eleven to get bottlers to deliver product to the chain's distribution centers proved too challenging, said Clinger, so instead it began buying Coca-Cola and PepsiCo products from the wholesale club Costco by the truckload, bringing them into its West Coast distribution center, and then picking those products for store delivery along with other items ordered by the stores, according to the Supply Chain News report.
"There's also good consistency of the product, and great marketing stems from that." Clinger leads a team that is charged with managing the corporate brand positioning through research, communications, design and other disciplines within the Americas and working with the Zurich-based home office.
Clinger warned that ''Al Qaeda seeks information on our interrogation techniques - their methods and their limits - and trains its operatives to resist them.
Clinger and the state-of-the-art theater support vessel Spearhead.
The report describes the origin, function and logistics of GWACs as follows: The Clinger Cohen Act ...
That's okay with John Clinger, partner in KClinger's, a beer-centered blues bar in Hanover, PA.
The next step breaks down the Group I category into Type A or Type B--Crawlers or Clingers. The width of the nymph's head (W and Y) is wider than (or equal to) the abdomen (X and Z), so it is a Type B, Clinger.
As each little clinger to worm life made itself noticed, I hoisted it up to safety.
Prior winners in elude Senators Dirk Kempthorne of Idaho and John Glenn of Ohio, California Representative Gary Condit and former Representative Bill Clinger of Pennsylvania for their sponsorship of the Unfunded Mandate Reform Act of 1995.
The text comprehensively reviews in a succinct form a large body of literature on difficult patients, including: the manipulative, demanding, self-destructive, hostile patient as well as the dependent clinger, the denier, the patient with psychosomatic illness, and the patient with personality disorder.
William Clinger (Pa.), Chairman of the Government Reform and Oversight Committee, and Chris Shays (Conn.), Chairman of the Intergovernmental and Human Resources Subcommittee.
The plaintiff, Mary Clinger, left her job in Manhattan to return to her home in New Jersey.
So will Representative Bill Clinger, probable chairman of the Government Operations Committee.