- a person who remains in a place or attaches himself or herself to a group, another person, etc., although not wanted, especially in the hope or expectation of personal gain.
Origin of hanger-on
1540–50; noun use of verb phrase hang on; see -er1
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for hanger-on
He ceased for a time at least to be a gentleman to become a hanger-on, a parasite once more.
From Venice he wrote: "I am a gentleman here, but only a hanger-on at home."
“Yes, I feel that I am only a hanger-on to mother since we reached France,” he confessed.The Bondwoman
Marah Ellis Ryan
She was kind of a hanger-on, Cornelia was, you see, and she was used to going where she was sent.Odd Numbers
The whole gang of hanger-on chiefs is perpetually loaded to the guards.A Son Of The Sun
- a sycophantic follower or dependant, esp one hoping for personal gain
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