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-ling 1

1. One connected with: worldling.
2. One having a specified quality: underling.
3. One that is young, small, or inferior: duckling.

[Middle English, from Old English.]

-ling 2

In a specified direction, manner, or condition: darkling.

[Middle English, from Old English.]


suffix forming nouns
1. often derogatory a person or thing belonging to or associated with the group, activity, or quality specified: nestling; underling.
2. used as a diminutive: duckling.
[Old English -ling, of Germanic origin; related to Icelandic -lingr, Gothic -lings]


suffix forming adverbs
in a specified condition, manner, or direction: darkling; sideling.
[Old English -ling, adverbial suffix]



n., pl. (esp. collectively) ling, (esp. for kinds or species) lings.
1. an elongated, codlike marine food fish, Molva molva, of Greenland and N Europe.
2. the burbot.
3. any of various other elongated food fishes.
[1250–1300; Middle English ling, lenge; akin to early Dutch linghe, lenghe, Old Norse langa, and to long1]



the heather, Calluna vulgaris.
[1325–75; Middle English < Old Norse lyng]


a suffix of nouns, often pejorative, denoting one concerned with (hireling; underling) or forming a diminutive (princeling; duckling).
[Middle English, Old English, c. Old Saxon, Old High German -ling, Old Norse -lingr, Gothic -liggs; see -le, -ing1]


an adverbial suffix expressing direction, position, or state: darkling.
[Middle English, Old English; adv. use of gradational variant of lang long1]