cling

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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 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

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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
If one side of a unit equilateral triangle clings to one side of an angle region (the length is [a.sub.1]), set the length of overlapping part as [b.sub.1], then the side-clinging degree of the side-clinging action is [b.sub.1]/ max (1, [a.sub.1]).
Let one side of the unit equilateral triangle cling to a side of another; namely, the length of the overlapping part of the two unit equilateral triangles is greater than zero.
Made in the USA, BrickStix Cling Decals, Reusable Stickers and Stix Storage Books can be found at Toys“R”Us stores nationwide.
But, astonishingly, he managed to cling on to the 10-11 favourite's neck while his legs dangled over the turf.
While the mother gently rocked back and forth in the examining-room chair, the infant clung to her chest as fiercely as a wide-eyed baby lemur clings to his mother's furry belly.
Navy still clings to the big deck carrier, while, compared to the Soviet Union, the U.S.
HEIR WE GO Harry clings on to Mamola as he does a wheelie HELL FOR LEATHERS Biker Harry yesterday RIDING STAR Harry meets Britain's Bradley Smith
HANGING AROUND: Joe Thompson clings on as rescuers get set to free him; LUCKY: Joe
Again I find myself adrift, adream on some such river; here in brazen stares and alleys--where flashing death may cling to every flapping plastic bag or bloated roadkill carcass--here I forget the ravings of my whiskey-reeking father: I his teenage son shrieking in Satan-terror, knowing his Bowie's curve sought to carve my heaving ribs, drag unseen lungs to light.