hang-up

or hang·up

[ hang-uhp ]
/ ˈhæŋˌʌp /

noun Slang.

a preoccupation, fixation, or psychological block; complex: His hang-up is trying to outdo his brother.
a source of annoying difficulty or burden; impediment; snag: The most serious hang-up the project has is a shortage of funds.
a fixture, object, or decoration that can be affixed to a wall, ceiling, other objects, etc.: He brightened up the room with flower baskets and other hang-ups.

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Origin of hang-up

First recorded in 1955–60; noun use of verb phrase hang up
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for hang-up

hang up

verb (adverb)

(tr) to put on a hook, hanger, etcplease hang up your coat
to replace (a telephone receiver) on its cradle at the end of a conversation, often breaking a conversation off abruptly
(tr; usually passive usually foll by on) informal to cause to have an emotional or psychological preoccupation or problemhe's really hung up on his mother

noun hang-up informal

an emotional or psychological preoccupation or problem
a persistent cause of annoyance
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

Idioms and Phrases with hang-up

hang up

1

Suspend on a hook or hanger, as in Let me hang up your coat for you. [c. 1300]

2

Also, hang up on. Replace a telephone receiver in its cradle; end a phone conversation. For example, She hung up the phone, or He hung up on her. [Early 1900s]

3

Delay or hinder; also, become halted or snagged, as in Budget problems hung up the project for months, or Traffic was hung up for miles. [Second half of 1800s]

4

Have or cause to have emotional difficulties, as in Being robbed at gunpoint can hang one up for years to come. [Slang; early 1900s]

5

hung up on. Obsessed with, as in For years the FBI was hung up on Communist spies. [First half of 1900s]

6

hang up one's sword or gloves or fiddle. Quit, retire, as in He's hanging up his sword next year and moving to Florida. The noun in these expressions refers to the profession one is leaving—sword for the military, gloves for boxing, and fiddle for music—but they all are used quite loosely as well, as in the example.

7

hang up one's hat. Settle somewhere, reside, as in “Eight hundred a year, and as nice a house as any gentleman could wish to hang up his hat in” (Anthony Trollope, The Warden, 1855).

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.