[ hang ]
See synonyms for: hanghanginghung on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object),hung or, especially for 4, 5, 22, hanged; hang·ing.
  1. to fasten or attach (a thing) so that it is supported only from above or at a point near its own top; suspend.

  2. to attach or suspend so as to allow free movement: to hang a pendulum.

  1. to place in position or fasten so as to allow easy or ready movement.

  2. to put to death by suspending by the neck from a gallows, gibbet, yardarm, or the like.

  3. to suspend (oneself) by the neck until dead: He hanged himself from a beam in the attic.

  4. to fasten to a cross; crucify.

  5. to furnish or decorate with something suspended: to hang a room with pictures.

  6. to fasten into position; fix at a proper angle: to hang a scythe.

  7. to fasten or attach (wallpaper, pictures, etc.) to a wall: to hang pictures in a room.

  8. to suspend (something) in front of anything: to hang curtains on a window.

  9. Fine Arts.

    • to exhibit (a painting or group of paintings): The gallery hung his paintings in a small corner.

    • to put the paintings of (an art exhibition) on the wall of a gallery: They hung the show that morning.

  10. to attach or annex as an addition: to hang a rider on a bill.

  11. to attach (a door or the like) to its frame by means of hinges.

  12. to allow to droop:He hung his head in shame.

  13. 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.

  14. (of a juror) to keep (a jury) from rendering a verdict by refusing to agree with the others.

  15. Digital Technology. freeze (def. 28): If a critical error hangs your operating system, you will need to reboot the computer.

  16. Informal. to cause (a nickname, epithet, etc.) to become associated with a person: Friends hung that nickname on him.

  17. Slang. to hit with (a fist, blow, punch, etc.): He hung a left on his opponent's jaw.

  18. Baseball. to throw (a pitch) so that it fails to break, as a curve.

  19. 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.

  20. (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 26, hanged; hang·ing.
  1. to be suspended; dangle.

  2. to swing freely, as on a hinge.

  1. to incline downward, jut out, or lean over or forward: The tree hung over the edge of the lake.

  2. to be suspended by the neck, as from a gallows, and suffer death in this way.

  3. to be crucified.

  4. to droop or sag:After the drastic weight loss, his skin seemed to hang from his frame.

  5. to fit or drape in graceful lines: That coat hangs well in back.

  6. to be conditioned or contingent; be dependent: His future hangs on the outcome of their discussion.

  7. to be doubtful or undecided; waver or hesitate: He hung between staying and going.

  8. to remain unfinished or undecided; be delayed: Let that matter hang until our next meeting.

  9. to linger, remain, or persist: He hung by her side, unwilling to leave.

  10. to float or hover in the air: Fog hung over the city.

  11. to be oppressive, burdensome, or tedious: guilt that hangs on one's conscience.

  12. to remain in attention or consideration (often followed by on or upon): They hung on his every word.

  13. Digital Technology. freeze (def. 13): That program hangs during launch, so I’ve never been able to use it.

  14. Fine Arts.

    • to be exhibited: His works hang in most major museums.

    • to have one's works on display: Rembrandt hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

  15. Informal. to spend time somewhere or with someone; hang out.

  1. the way in which a thing hangs.

  2. Informal. the precise manner of doing, using, etc., something; knack: to get the hang of a tool.

  1. Informal. meaning or thought: to get the hang of a subject.

  2. Digital Technology. freeze (def. 38).

  3. Nautical.

    • loss of way due to adverse wind or current.

    • a rake, as of a mast.

  4. 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
  1. hang around / about Informal.

    • to spend time in a certain place or in certain company: He hangs around with an older crowd.

    • to linger about; loiter: They had stopped working and were just hanging around to talk.

  2. hang back,

    • 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.

    • 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.

  1. hang in, Slang. to persevere: She has managed to hang in despite years of bad luck.: Also hang in there .

  2. hang on,

    • to hold fast; cling to.

    • to continue with effort; persevere: If you can hang on for a month longer, you will be eligible for the bonus.

    • to be sustained to the point of danger, tedium, etc.: coughs that hang on for months.

    • to keep a telephone line open: Hang on, I'll see if she's here.

    • to wait briefly; keep calm.

  3. hang out.

  4. hang over,

    • to remain to be settled; be postponed: They will probably let the final decision hang over until next year.

    • to be imminent or foreboding; threaten: Economic ruin hangs over the town.

  5. hang up,

    • to suspend by placing on a hook, peg, or hanger.

    • to cause or encounter delay; suspend or slow the progress of: The accident hung up the traffic for several hours.

    • to break a telephone connection, as by replacing the receiver on the hook: She received an anonymous call, but the party hung up when she threatened to call the police.

    • to cause a hang-up or hang-ups in: The experience hung her up for years.

Idioms about hang

  1. hang a left / right, Slang. to make a left (or right) turn, as while driving an automobile: Hang a right at the next corner.

  2. 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.

  1. hang in the balance, to be in a precarious state or condition: The wounded man's life hung in the balance.

  2. hang it up, Informal. to quit, resign, give up, etc.: The chief engineer is hanging it up after 40 years with the company.

  3. hang loose, Slang. to remain relaxed or calm: Try to hang loose and don't let it bother you.

  4. hang one on, Slang.

    • to hit: He hung one on the bully and knocked him down.

    • to become extremely drunk: Every payday he hangs one on.

  5. hang one's head. head (def. 66).

  6. 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.

  7. hang tight. Informal. See entry at hang tight.

  8. hang together,

    • to be loyal to one another; remain united: “We must indeed all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”

    • to cohere: This pancake batter doesn't hang together.

    • to be logical or consistent: His version of the story does not hang together.

  9. hang tough, Slang. to remain unyielding, stubborn, or inflexible: He's hanging tough and won't change his mind.

  10. let it all hang out, Slang.

    • to be completely candid in expressing one's feelings, opinions, etc.: She's never been one to let it all hang out.

    • to act or live without restraint or inhibitions.

Origin of hang

First recorded before 900; fusion of three verbs: (1) Middle English hon, Old English hōn “to hang” (transitive), cognate with Gothic hāhan; (2) Middle English hang(i)en, Old English hangian “to hang” (intransitive), cognate with German hangen (intransitive); (3) Middle English henge (transitive), from Old Norse hengja (transitive), cognate with German hängen “to hang” (transitive)

synonym study For hang

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, especially when guilt is presumed rather than proven. Lynching is done by private persons, usually a mob, without legal authority.

usage note For hang

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: His friends were hanged by a lynch mob. 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.

Other words for hang

Opposites for hang

Other words from hang

  • hang·a·ble, adjective
  • hang·a·bil·i·ty [hang-uh-bil-i-tee], /ˌhæŋ əˈbɪl ɪ ti/, noun
  • re·hang, verb (used with object), re·hung or re·hanged, re·hang·ing.
  • un·der·hang, verb, un·der·hung, un·der·hang·ing.
  • un·hanged, adjective

Words that may be confused with hang

  • 1. hang , lynch (see synonym study at the current entry)
  • 2. hanged , hung (see usage note at the current entry)

Words Nearby hang

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use hang in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for hang


/ (hæŋ) /

verbhangs, hanging or hung (hʌŋ)
  1. to fasten or be fastened from above, esp by a cord, chain, etc; suspend: the picture hung on the wall; to hang laundry

  2. 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

  1. (intr sometimes foll by over) to be suspended or poised; hover: a pall of smoke hung over the city

  2. (intr sometimes foll by over) to be imminent; threaten

  3. (intr) to be or remain doubtful or unresolved (esp in the phrase hang in the balance)

  4. (past tense and past participle hanged) to suspend or be suspended by the neck until dead

  5. (tr) to fasten, fix, or attach in position or at an appropriate angle: to hang a scythe to its handle

  6. (tr) to decorate, furnish, or cover with something suspended or fastened: to hang a wall with tapestry

  7. (tr) to fasten to or suspend from a wall: to hang wallpaper

  8. 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

  9. to fall or droop or allow to fall or droop: to hang one's head in shame

  10. (of cloth, clothing, etc) to drape, fall, or flow, esp in a specified manner: her skirt hangs well

  11. (tr) to suspend (game such as pheasant) so that it becomes slightly decomposed and therefore more tender and tasty

  12. (of a jury) to prevent or be prevented from reaching a verdict

  13. (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

  14. (intr) to pass slowly (esp in the phrase time hangs heavily)

  15. hang fire

  16. hang tough See tough (def. 10)

  1. the way in which something hangs

  2. (usually used with a negative) slang a damn: I don't care a hang for what you say

  1. get the hang of informal

    • to understand the technique of doing something

    • to perceive the meaning or significance of

Origin of hang

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