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[hang-er] /ˈhæŋ ər/
a shoulder-shaped frame with a hook at the top, usually of wire, wood, or plastic, for draping and hanging a garment when not in use.
a part of something by which it is hung, as a loop on a garment.
a contrivance on which things are hung, as a hook.
Automotive. a double-hinged device linking the chassis with the leaf springs on vehicles having solid axles.
a light saber of the 17th and 18th centuries, often worn by sailors.
a person who hangs something.
Origin of hanger
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English hangere; see hang, -er1
Can be confused
hangar, hanger. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for hangers
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They are the pothooks and hangers of surgery, and I have gone that far.

    Lord Kilgobbin Charles Lever
  • The other fellows are just hangers on—camp followers, so to speak.

  • Bosco Blithers, professor of penmanship and author of “Pot-hooks and hangers.”

    Three Hats

    Alfred Debrun
  • Some ran to the guns, others got hold of their hangers and small-arms.

    Roger Willoughby William H. G. Kingston
  • “If we do, we must keep one eye open and our hangers by our sides,” observed Tubbs.

    The Two Supercargoes W.H.G. Kingston
  • Clothes forms and hangers are so inexpensive that every gown and coat should have its own.

    Textiles and Clothing Kate Heintz Watson
  • There are in use too many kinds of hangers to explain or describe them here.

    Elements of Plumbing Samuel Dibble
British Dictionary definitions for hangers


  1. any support, such as a hook, strap, peg, or loop, on or by which something may be hung
  2. See coat hanger
  1. a person who hangs something
  2. (in combination): paperhanger
a bracket designed to attach one part of a mechanical structure to another, such as the one that attaches the spring shackle of a motor car to the chassis
a wood on a steep hillside, characteristically beech growing on chalk in southern England
  1. a loop or strap on a sword belt from which a short sword or dagger was hung
  2. the weapon itself
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
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Word Origin and History for hangers



early 15c., "one who hangs (something)," especially "hangman;" agent noun of hang (v.). Meaning "something that is suspended" is late 15c. Meaning "thing from which something is hung" is from 1690s. Specifically of coat or dress hangers from 1873. Hanger-on is from 1540s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for hangers


Related Terms

ape hangers

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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