English

Definition of linger verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    linger

     verb
    verb
    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//
     
     
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  1. 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. 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. 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. 4[intransitive] linger (on) to stay alive but become weaker He lingered on for several months after the heart attack.
  5. Word Origin Middle English (in the sense ‘dwell, abide’): frequentative of obsolete leng ‘prolong’, of Germanic origin; related to German längen ‘make long(er)’, also to long.Extra examples It will linger forever in the minds of many people. The feelings of hurt and resentment lingered on for years. The smell of lavender lingered faintly in the room. They stayed in the restaurant, lingering over coffee.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: linger