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dangle

[dang-guh l]
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verb (used without object), dan·gled, dan·gling.
  1. to hang loosely, especially with a jerking or swaying motion: The rope dangled in the breeze.
  2. to hang around or follow a person, as if seeking favor or attention.
  3. Grammar. to occur as a modifier without a head or as a participle without an implied subject, as leaving the tunnel in The daylight was blinding, leaving the tunnel.
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verb (used with object), dan·gled, dan·gling.
  1. to cause to dangle; hold or carry swaying loosely.
  2. to offer as an inducement.
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noun
  1. the act of dangling.
  2. something that dangles.
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Idioms
  1. keep someone dangling, to keep someone in a state of uncertainty.
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Origin of dangle

1580–90; expressive word akin to Norwegian, Swedish dangla, Danish dangle dangle
Related formsdan·gler, noundan·gling·ly, adverb

Synonyms

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1. swing, sway, flap.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for danglers

Historical Examples

  • Uncle Giles says, “Perhaps they do it to keep off danglers.”

    Fred Markham in Russia

    W. H. G. Kingston

  • It was also employed as a contemptuous phrase for danglers after young women.

    Domestic folk-lore

    T. F. Thiselton-Dyer

  • Carmen—it was an old saying of the danglers in the time of Henderson—was a domestic woman except in her own home.

    That Fortune

    Charles Dudley Warner

  • It was also employed as a contemptuous name for danglers on young women.

    Folk-lore of Shakespeare

    Thomas Firminger Thiselton-Dyer


British Dictionary definitions for danglers

dangle

verb
  1. to hang or cause to hang freelyhis legs dangled over the wall
  2. (tr) to display as an enticementthe hope of a legacy was dangled before her
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noun
  1. the act of dangling or something that dangles
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Derived Formsdangler, noundanglingly, adverb

Word Origin

C16: perhaps from Danish dangle, probably of imitative origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for danglers

dangle

v.

1590s, probably from Scandinavian (cf. Danish dangle, Swedish dangla "to swing about," Norwegian dangla), perhaps via North Frisian dangeln. Related: Dangled; dangling.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper