Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Idioms.


intr.v. lin·gered, lin·ger·ing, lin·gers
1. To stay in a place or be slow in leaving it, often out of reluctance: Friends lingered at the picnic tables, chatting. See Synonyms at stay1.
a. To continue or persist: a smell that lingered in the air; doubts that lingered in my mind.
b. To remain feebly alive for some time before dying.
3. To proceed slowly; saunter: "the careless grace and dignity with which she lingered along the garden path" (Henry James).
4. To devote considerable time to something, especially in a leisurely fashion: We lingered over the question for an hour.

[Middle English lengeren, frequentative of lengen, to prolong, from Old English lengan; see del- in Indo-European roots.]

lin′ger·er n.
lin′ger·ing·ly adv.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.lingerer - someone who lingers aimlessly in or about a place
dawdler, laggard, lagger, trailer, poke, drone - someone who takes more time than necessary; someone who lags behind


References in periodicals archive ?
let us live, so that flower by flower, Shutting in turn may leave A lingerer still for the sunset hour, A charm for the shaded eve.
The Dallas Jessiman Award (PNC) for first-time attendees at the conference: Nicola Lingerer, Hawkes' Bay Regional Hospital;
Gustav Lingerer provides an excellent account of the social and economic structures of prostitution in "Prostitution in Late Elizabethan London: The Case of Mary Newborough," Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England 15 (2002): 138-223.
Attachment is widely recognised as important to the mental health of children (Harrison & Lingerer, 1997; Sims, 2009).