Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to linger: liger
To wait or loaf idly or expectantly (in some place or location). We all lingered around to hear the test results after class. I lingered around New York for a few weeks after I finished college hoping to find a job, but I knew deep down I would eventually move back to Michigan. I want you to get a job—I don't want you lingering around the house for the whole summer.
1. To remain persistently or for a longer time than anticipated. I just wanted to go home after the seminar finished, but a number of attendees were still lingering on in the lobby. Despite her assurances, I still had a few concerns lingering on.
2. To remain focused on or preoccupied by something for longer than is necessary or advantageous. Time will be extremely tight in this exam, so don't linger on any questions to which you don't know the answer right away. I don't want to linger on this topic any longer than we have already, so I'll keep my response brief.
3. To remain alive after someone else passes away. After my father died, my mother lingered on for a couple of months before passing away as well. I just don't think she could bear being without him. My great-uncle Charlie lived for nearly 20 years after his brothers and sisters died, lingering on to the ripe-old age of 107.
linger on after (someone)
To remain alive after someone else passes away. After my father died, my mother lingered on after him for a couple of months before passing away as well. I just don't think she could bear being without him. My great-uncle Charlie lingered on after his brothers and sisters for nearly 20 years, dying at the ripe-old age of 107.
linger over (something)
1. To delay in doing or accomplishing something. Time will be extremely tight in this exam, so don't linger over any questions you can't figure out. Don't linger over your decision too long, or they might withdraw their generous offer.
2. To spend a lavish or excessive amount of time doing or enjoying something. I love watching her linger over each cigarette as if it were the last one she'll ever have. With how frantic life is these days, I think it's important to linger over things we enjoy, such as good food or drinks.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
to wait around; to be idle some place. Don't linger around. Get going! All the students were lingering around, waiting until the last minute to go into the building.
to remain for a long time; to exist longer than would have been thought. This cold of mine just keeps lingering on. Some of the guests lingered on for a long time after the party was over.
linger on (after someone or something)and stay on (after someone or something)
to outlast someone or something; to live longer than someone else or long after an event. Aunt Sarah lingered on only a few months after Uncle Herman died. She lingered on and was depressed for a while.
linger on something
to delay moving on to the next thing; to remain at something and not move on. Don't linger on that one problem so long. I don't want to waste a lot of time lingering on this question.
linger over something
1. to take too much time or idle over something, such as a meal, a cup of coffee, etc. I could linger over coffee all morning, given the chance. Don't linger over your soup. It will get cold.
2. to dawdle over the doing of something. You shouldn't linger over eating your dinner. It would he best not to linger over making up your mind.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.