- 1[intransitive] to continue to exist for longer than expected The faint smell of her perfume lingered in the room. linger on The civil war lingered on well into the 1930s.
- 2[intransitive] (+ adv./prep.) to stay somewhere for longer because you do not want to leave; to spend a long time doing something She lingered for a few minutes to talk to Nick. We lingered over breakfast on the terrace.
- 3[intransitive] linger (on somebody/something) to continue to look at somebody/something or think about something for longer than usual His eyes lingered on the diamond ring on her finger.
- 4[intransitive] linger (on) to stay alive but become weaker He lingered on for several months after the heart attack. Word Origin Middle English (in the sense ‘dwell, abide’): frequentative of obsolete leng ‘prolong’, of Germanic origin; related to German längen
BrE BrE//ˈlɪŋɡə(r)//; NAmE NAmE//ˈlɪŋɡər//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they linger
BrE BrE//ˈlɪŋɡə(r)//; NAmE NAmE//ˈlɪŋɡər//he / she / it lingers
BrE BrE//ˈlɪŋɡəz//; NAmE NAmE//ˈlɪŋɡərz//past simple lingered
BrE BrE//ˈlɪŋɡəd//; NAmE NAmE//ˈlɪŋɡərd//past participle lingered
BrE BrE//ˈlɪŋɡəd//; NAmE NAmE//ˈlɪŋɡərd//-ing form lingering
BrE BrE//ˈlɪŋɡərɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈlɪŋɡərɪŋ//