Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

-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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



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]


Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.