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cling - definition and synonyms

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verb [intransitive]     cling pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
present tense
present participleclinging
past tenseclung
past participleclung
  1. 1
    to hold onto someone or something tightly with your hands or arms, for example because you are afraid
    cling to:

    Crossing the bridge, she felt dizzy and clung to the rails.

    Some children were sobbing and clinging to their mothers.

    cling together:

    The two monkeys clung tightly together.

    1. a.
      to stay very close to someone, usually because you want them to protect you

      He still clings to his mother even at the age of ten.

  2. 2
    to stick to or fit very tightly on something
    cling to:

    Gareth’s dripping clothes clung to his body.

  3. 3
    to try very hard to keep something
    cling to:

    The Prime Minister is still clinging to power.

  4. 4
    to keep believing that something is right or real, even though other people do not
    cling to:

    Members of the sect have clung to a faith that has been outlawed since the 17th century.



to manipulate someone psychologically so that they begin to question their own perceptions and memories

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Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

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