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Blech. These are the grossest words.


[hang-ing] /ˈhæŋ ɪŋ/
the act, an instance, or the form of capital punishment carried out by suspending one by the neck from a gallows, gibbet, or the like, until dead.
Often, hangings. something that hangs or is hung on the walls of a room, as a drapery or tapestry.
a suspending or temporary attaching, as of a painting:
a careless hanging of pictures.
punishable by, deserving, or causing death by hanging:
a hanging crime; a hanging offense.
inclined to inflict death by hanging:
a hanging jury.
suspended; pendent; overhanging:
a hanging cliff.
situated on a steep slope or at a height:
a hanging garden.
directed downward:
a hanging look.
made, holding, or suitable for a hanging object.
Origin of hanging
1250-1300; Middle English (noun, adj.), Old English hangande (adj.) See hang, -ing1, -ing2
Related forms
hangingly, adverb
unhanging, adjective


[hang] /hæŋ/
verb (used with object), hung or especially for 4, 5, 20, hanged; hanging.
to fasten or attach (a thing) so that it is supported only from above or at a point near its own top; suspend.
to attach or suspend so as to allow free movement:
to hang a pendulum.
to place in position or fasten so as to allow easy or ready movement.
to put to death by suspending by the neck from a gallows, gibbet, yardarm, or the like.
to suspend (oneself) by the neck until dead:
He hanged himself from a beam in the attic.
to fasten to a cross; crucify.
to furnish or decorate with something suspended:
to hang a room with pictures.
to fasten into position; fix at a proper angle:
to hang a scythe.
to fasten or attach (wallpaper, pictures, etc.) to a wall:
to hang pictures in a room.
to suspend (something) in front of anything:
to hang curtains on a window.
Fine Arts.
  1. to exhibit (a painting or group of paintings):
    The gallery hung his paintings in a small corner.
  2. to put the paintings of (an art exhibition) on the wall of a gallery:
    They hung the show that morning.
to attach or annex as an addition:
to hang a rider on a bill.
to attach (a door or the like) to its frame by means of hinges.
to make (an idea, form, etc.) dependent on a situation, structure, concept, or the like, usually derived from another source:
He hung the meaning of his puns on the current political scene.
(of a juror) to keep (a jury) from rendering a verdict by refusing to agree with the others.
Informal. to cause (a nickname, epithet, etc.) to become associated with a person:
Friends hung that nickname on him.
Slang. to hit with (a fist, blow, punch, etc.):
He hung a left on his opponent's jaw.
Baseball. to throw (a pitch) so that it fails to break, as a curve.
Nautical. to steady (a boat) in one place against a wind or current by thrusting a pole or the like into the bottom under the boat and allowing the wind or current to push the boat side-on against the pole.
(used in mild curses and emphatic expressions, often as a euphemism for damn):
I'll be hanged if I do. Hang it all!
verb (used without object), hung or especially for 24, hanged; hanging.
to be suspended; dangle.
to swing freely, as on a hinge.
to incline downward, jut out, or lean over or forward:
The tree hung over the edge of the lake.
to be suspended by the neck, as from a gallows, and suffer death in this way.
to be crucified.
to be conditioned or contingent; be dependent:
His future hangs on the outcome of their discussion.
to be doubtful or undecided; waver or hesitate:
He hung between staying and going.
to remain unfinished or undecided; be delayed:
Let that matter hang until our next meeting.
to linger, remain, or persist:
He hung by her side, unwilling to leave.
to float or hover in the air:
Fog hung over the city.
to be oppressive, burdensome, or tedious:
guilt that hangs on one's conscience.
to remain in attention or consideration (often followed by on or upon):
They hung on his every word.
to fit or drape in graceful lines:
That coat hangs well in back.
Fine Arts.
  1. to be exhibited:
    His works hang in most major museums.
  2. to have one's works on display:
    Rembrandt hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Informal. to hang out.
the way in which a thing hangs.
Informal. the precise manner of doing, using, etc., something; knack:
to get the hang of a tool.
Informal. meaning or thought:
to get the hang of a subject.
  1. loss of way due to adverse wind or current.
  2. a rake, as of a mast.
the least degree of care, concern, etc. (used in mild curses and emphatic expressions as a euphemism for damn):
He doesn't give a hang about those things.
Verb phrases
hang around/about, Informal.
  1. to spend time in a certain place or in certain company:
    He hangs around with an older crowd.
  2. to linger about; loiter:
    They had stopped working and were just hanging around to talk.
hang back,
  1. to be reluctant to proceed or move forward:
    The older pupils went straight to the podium, but the younger ones hung back out of shyness.
  2. to refrain from taking action; hesitate:
    A forward pass would have been the best call, but the quarterback hung back because his last pass had been intercepted.
hang in, Slang. to persevere:
She has managed to hang in despite years of bad luck.
Also, hang in there.
hang on,
  1. to hold fast; cling to.
  2. to continue with effort; persevere:
    If you can hang on for a month longer, you will be eligible for the bonus.
  3. to be sustained to the point of danger, tedium, etc.:
    coughs that hang on for months.
  4. to keep a telephone line open:
    Hang on, I'll see if she's here.
  5. to wait briefly; keep calm.
hang out,
  1. to lean or be suspended through an opening.
  2. Informal. to frequent a particular place, especially in idling away one's free time:
    to hang out in a bar.
  3. Informal. to loiter in public places:
    nothing to do on Saturday night but hang out.
  4. Informal. to consort or appear in public with:
    Who's she been hanging out with?
  5. Slang. to calm down:
    Hang out, Mom, I'm OK.
  6. to wait, especially briefly:
    Hang out a minute while I get my backpack.
  7. to suspend in open view; display:
    to hang out the flag.
hang over,
  1. to remain to be settled; be postponed:
    They will probably let the final decision hang over until next year.
  2. to be imminent or foreboding; threaten:
    Economic ruin hangs over the town.
hang up,
  1. to suspend by placing on a hook, peg, or hanger.
  2. to cause or encounter delay; suspend or slow the progress of:
    The accident hung up the traffic for several hours.
  3. to break a telephone connection by replacing the receiver on the hook:
    She received an anonymous call, but the party hung up when she threatened to call the police.
  4. to cause a hang-up or hang-ups in:
    The experience hung her up for years.
hang a left / right, Slang. to make a left (or right) turn, as while driving an automobile:
Hang a right at the next corner.
hang five, to ride a surfboard with the weight of the body forward and the toes of the forward foot curled over the front edge of the surfboard.
hang in the balance, to be in a precarious state or condition:
The wounded man's life hung in the balance.
hang it up, Informal. to quit, resign, give up, etc.:
The chief engineer is hanging it up after 40 years with the company.
hang loose, Slang. to remain relaxed or calm:
Try to hang loose and don't let it bother you.
hang one on, Slang.
  1. to hit:
    He hung one on the bully and knocked him down.
  2. to become extremely drunk:
    Every payday he hangs one on.
hang one's head. head (def 66).
hang ten, to ride a surfboard with the weight of the body as far forward as possible and the toes of both feet curled over the front edge of the surfboard.
hang together,
  1. to be loyal to one another; remain united: “We must indeed all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”.
  2. to cohere:
    This pancake batter doesn't hang together.
  3. to be logical or consistent:
    His version of the story does not hang together.
hang tough, Slang. to remain unyielding, stubborn, or inflexible:
He's hanging tough and won't change his mind.
let it all hang out, Slang.
  1. to be completely candid in expressing one's feelings, opinions, etc.:
    She's never been one to let it all hang out.
  2. to act or live without restraint or inhibitions.
before 900; fusion of 3 verbs: (1) Middle English, Old English hōn to hang (transitive), cognate with Gothic hāhan, orig. *haghan; (2) Middle English hang(i)en, Old English hangian to hang (intransitive), cognate with German hangen; (3) Middle English henge < Old Norse hengja (transitive), cognate with German hängen to hang
Related forms
hangable, adjective
hangability, noun
rehang, verb (used with object), rehung or rehanged, rehanging.
underhang, verb, underhung, underhanging.
unhanged, adjective
Can be confused
hang, lynch (see synonym study at the current entry)
hanged, hung (see usage note at the current entry)
Synonym Study
4. Hang, lynch have in common the meaning of “to put to death,” but lynching is not always by hanging. Hang, in the sense of execute, is in accordance with a legal sentence, the method of execution being to suspend by the neck until dead. To lynch, however, implies the summary putting to death, by any method, of someone charged with a flagrant offense (though guilt may not have been proved). Lynching is done by private persons, usually a mob, without legal authority. 26. depend, rely, rest, hinge.
Usage note
Hang has two forms for the past tense and past participle, hanged and hung. The historically older form hanged is now used exclusively in the sense of causing or putting to death: He was sentenced to be hanged by the neck until dead. In the sense of legal execution, hung is also quite common and is standard in all types of speech and writing except in legal documents. When legal execution is not meant, hung has become the more frequent form: The prisoner hung himself in his cell. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for hanging
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Only he hadn't been holding the axe; it had been hanging in mid-air without support.

    Stopover William Gerken
  • A haversack was on his back, hanging from lanyards that creased a smart coat.

    The Rich Little Poor Boy Eleanor Gates
  • From the form of the feet which were hanging down, they tried to guess who it could be.

  • Outside, several boys were hanging against the window, peering in.

    The Rich Little Poor Boy Eleanor Gates
  • Braden's coat was hanging from the back of his chair, but he was not in the office.

    The Thirst Quenchers Rick Raphael
British Dictionary definitions for hanging


  1. the putting of a person to death by suspending the body by the neck from a noose
  2. (as modifier): a hanging offence
(often pl) a decorative textile such as a tapestry or drapery hung on a wall or over a window
the act of a person or thing that hangs
not supported from below; suspended
undecided; still under discussion
inclining or projecting downwards; overhanging
situated on a steep slope or in a high place
(prenominal) given to issuing harsh sentences, esp death sentences: a hanging judge
(Northern English, informal) unpleasant
(chess) See hanging pawn


verb hangs, hanging, hung (hʌŋ)
to fasten or be fastened from above, esp by a cord, chain, etc; suspend: the picture hung on the wall, to hang laundry
to place or be placed in position as by a hinge so as to allow free movement around or at the place of suspension: to hang a door
(intransitive) sometimes foll by over. to be suspended or poised; hover: a pall of smoke hung over the city
(intransitive) sometimes foll by over. to be imminent; threaten
(intransitive) to be or remain doubtful or unresolved (esp in the phrase hang in the balance)
(past tense and past participle hanged) to suspend or be suspended by the neck until dead
(transitive) to fasten, fix, or attach in position or at an appropriate angle: to hang a scythe to its handle
(transitive) to decorate, furnish, or cover with something suspended or fastened: to hang a wall with tapestry
(transitive) to fasten to or suspend from a wall: to hang wallpaper
to exhibit (a picture or pictures) by (a particular painter, printmaker, etc) or (of a picture or a painter, etc) to be exhibited in an art gallery, etc
to fall or droop or allow to fall or droop: to hang one's head in shame
(of cloth, clothing, etc) to drape, fall, or flow, esp in a specified manner: her skirt hangs well
(transitive) to suspend (game such as pheasant) so that it becomes slightly decomposed and therefore more tender and tasty
(of a jury) to prevent or be prevented from reaching a verdict
(past tense and past participle hanged) (slang) to damn or be damned: used in mild curses or interjections: I'll be hanged before I'll go out in that storm
(intransitive) to pass slowly (esp in the phrase time hangs heavily)
hang fire
  1. to be delayed
  2. to procrastinate See also fire (sense 16)
hang tough, See tough (sense 10)
the way in which something hangs
(usually used with a negative) (slang) a damn: I don't care a hang for what you say
(informal) get the hang of
  1. to understand the technique of doing something
  2. to perceive the meaning or significance of
Word Origin
Old English hangian; related to Old Norse hanga, Old High German hangēn
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 hanging

"act of putting to death on the gallows," c.1300 (see hang). Hanging judge first recorded 1848. Meaning "piece of drapery on the wall of a room" is late 15c. Hangings "curtains, tapestry" is from 1640s.



a fusion of Old English hon "suspend" (transitive, class VII strong verb; past tense heng, past participle hangen), and Old English hangian (weak, intransitive, past tense hangode) "be suspended;" also probably influenced by Old Norse hengja "suspend," and hanga "be suspended." All from Proto-Germanic *khang- (cf. Old Frisian hangia, Dutch hangen, German hängen), from PIE *kank- "to hang" (cf. Gothic hahan, Hittite gang- "to hang," Sanskrit sankate "wavers," Latin cunctari "to delay;" see also second element in Stonehenge). As a method of execution, in late Old English (but originally specifically of crucifixion).

Hung emerged as past participle 16c. in northern England dialect, and hanged endured only in legal language (which tends to be conservative) and metaphors extended from it (I'll be hanged). Teen slang sense of "spend time" first recorded 1951; hang around "idle, loiter" is from 1830, and hang out (v.) is from 1811. Hang fire (1781) was originally used of guns that were slow in communicating the fire through the vent to the charge. To let it all hang out "be relaxed and uninhibited" is from 1967.


late 15c., "a sling," from hang (v.). Meaning "a curtain" is from c.1500; that of "the way cloth hangs" is from 1797. To get the hang of (something) "become capable" is from 1834, American English. Perhaps originally in reference to a certain tool or feat, but, if so, its origin has been forgotten. It doesn't seem to have been originally associated with drapery or any other special use of hang.

'To get the hang of a thing,' is to get the knack, or habitual facility of doing it well. A low expression frequently heard among us. In the Craven Dialect of England is the word hank, a habit; from which this word hang may perhaps be derived. [John Russell Bartlett, "Dictionary of Americanisms," New York, 1848]

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


Related Terms

how they hanging



  1. To spend time; frequent; goof off, hang out: Who runs the coffeepot where they hang?/If a person is goofing off, he's hanging (1951+ Teenagers)
  2. To endure a situation; survive; handle pressure: No one ever chants I am somebody. If you weren't, you couldn't hang/This is so stressful. I can't hang (1980s+ Students)

Related Terms

have it all hanging out, let it all hang out

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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hanging in the Bible

(as a punishment), a mark of infamy inflicted on the dead bodies of criminals (Deut. 21:23) rather than our modern mode of punishment. Criminals were first strangled and then hanged (Nu. 25:4; Deut. 21:22). (See 2 Sam. 21:6 for the practice of the Gibeonites.) Hanging (as a curtain). (1.) Heb. masak, (a) before the entrance to the court of the tabernacle (Ex. 35:17); (b) before the door of the tabernacle (26:36, 37); (c) before the entrance to the most holy place, called "the veil of the covering" (35:12; 39:34), as the word properly means. (2.) Heb. kelaim, tapestry covering the walls of the tabernacle (Ex. 27:9; 35:17; Num. 3:26) to the half of the height of the wall (Ex. 27:18; comp. 26:16). These hangings were fastened to pillars. (3.) Heb. bottim (2 Kings 23:7), "hangings for the grove" (R.V., "for the Asherah"); marg., instead of "hangings," has "tents" or "houses." Such curtained structures for idolatrous worship are also alluded to in Ezek. 16:16.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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