Phrasal Verbs with “Cling” in English

Meaning of cling to something in English

What does the word “Cling” mean?

The verb “Cling” [clung] means to hold fast to something or someone. Often used when we want to show affection or difficulty letting someone go. When combined with various prepositions or adverbs, “Cling” can be turned into a phrasal verb with a meaning that can be completely different from the original verb. Let’s look at phrasal verbs with the word “Cling”, as well as important idiomatic expressions and phrases with it.

Phrasal verbs and phrases with “Cling”

Cling to

  • Meaning: To firmly adhere to an idea, belief, or hope. To maintain a strong attachment to something or someone, often emotional.
  • Example: She continues to cling to the hope that her missing cat will come home.

Cling on to

  • Meaning: Similar to “cling to,” it means to hold tightly onto something. To insist on or persist with something resolutely.
  • Example: He clung on to the edge of the cliff until help arrived.

Cling together

  • Meaning: To hold closely or remain very close to one another. To stay together in a group, usually for mutual comfort or support.
  • Example: The family clung together during the crisis.

Cling onto

  • Meaning: To be emotionally dependent on someone or something. To hold very tightly to something or someone.
  • Example: The child clung onto her mother on the first day of school.

Cling away

  • Meaning: To detach or remove something that is clinging
  • Example: The child struggled to cling away the gum from her hair.

Cling to power

  • Meaning: To desperately hold onto authority
  • Example: The dictator clung to power despite increasing pressure from the public.

Cling for life

  • Meaning: To desperately try to survive
  • Example: She was clinging for life after the accident.

Cling to memories

  • Meaning: To reminisce and dwell on the past
  • Example: She clung to the memories of her childhood home.

Cling to the hope of

  • Meaning: To desperately believe something good might happen
  • Example: We desperately cling to the hope of a peaceful resolution.

Cling to the illusion of

  • Meaning: To falsely believe something is true; refuse to face reality
  • Example: She clung to the illusion of their perfect relationship.

Cling to the coattails of

  • Meaning: To try to benefit from someone else’s success; ride on their achievements
  • Example: The new company hoped to cling to the success of its competitor.

Although “cling” is not used in phrasal verbs as frequently as some other verbs in the English language, when it comes to conveying a sense of desperation or attachment, this word fits the bill perfectly.

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