Meaning of HANG in English

I. hang 1 S1 W2 /hæŋ/ BrE AmE verb ( past tense and past participle hung /hʌŋ/)

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ hanger , ↑ hanging , ↑ overhang ; verb : ↑ hang , ↑ overhang ; adjective : hanging]


a) [transitive always + adverb/preposition] ( also hang up ) to put something in a position so that the top part is fixed or supported, and the bottom part is free to move and does not touch the ground:

Philip hung his coat on a hook behind the door.

She hung the sheets on the washing line.

b) [intransitive always + adverb/preposition] to be in a position where the top part is fixed or supported, and the bottom part is free to move and does not touch the ground:

An old-fashioned gas lamp hung from the ceiling.

Her long hair hung loose about her shoulders.

The shirt hung down almost to his ankles.


a) [transitive] to fix a picture, photograph etc to a wall:

I wanted to hang the picture in the hall.

b) [intransitive always + adverb/preposition] if a picture, photograph etc is hanging somewhere, it is fixed to a wall:

There was a family photograph hanging on the wall.

c) be hung with something if the walls of a room are hung with pictures or decorations, the pictures etc are on the walls:

The entrance hall was hung with rich tapestries.

3 . KILL/BE KILLED ( past tense and past participle hanged ) [intransitive and transitive] to kill someone by dropping them with a rope around their neck, or to die in this way, especially as a punishment for a serious crime

be hanged for something

He was hanged for murder.

hang yourself

Corey hanged himself in his prison cell.

If he is found guilty, he will almost certainly hang.

4 . PAPER [transitive] to fasten attractive paper to a wall in order to decorate a room:

We spent the afternoon hanging wallpaper.

5 . DOOR [transitive] to fasten a door in position:

Hanging a door is quite a tricky job.

6 . MIST/SMOKE/SMELL [intransitive + adverb/preposition] if something such as smoke hangs in the air, it stays in the air for a long time:

The smoke from the bonfires hung in the air.

A thick mist hung over the town.

7 . hang open if a door, someone’s mouth etc hangs open, it is open

8 . hang in the balance if something hangs in the balance, it is not certain what will happen to it:

The future of the company hangs in the balance.

9 . hang by a thread if something is hanging by a thread, it is in a very dangerous situation and may not continue:

He is still in hospital, his life hanging by a thread.

10 . hang (on) in there ( also hang tough especially American English spoken ) to remain brave and determined when you are in a difficult situation:

Don’t worry. Just hang on in there.

11 . hang your head to look ashamed and embarrassed:

She hung her head, not sure how to reply.

Daphne had hung her head in shame.

12 . hang fire to wait for a short while before you do something:

I think we should hang fire for a week.

13 . leave something hanging in the air to leave something in a situation where it has not been explained, completed, or dealt with:

His resignation has left some important questions hanging in the air.

14 . hang a right/left American English spoken to turn right or left when driving:

Go straight on for two blocks, then hang a left.

15 . [intransitive] American English spoken to spend time somewhere, relaxing and enjoying yourself

hang with

We were just hanging with the dudes at Mike’s house.

16 . I’ll be hanged if British English old-fashioned used to express annoyance or to say that you will not allow something to happen:

I’ll be hanged if I’ll give them any money!

17 . hang it (all) British English old-fashioned used to say that you are disappointed or annoyed about something

18 . hang something British English old-fashioned used to say that you are not going to do something:

Oh hang the report, let’s go for a drink.

19 . I/you might as well be hanged for a sheep as (for) a lamb used to say that, if a small action may have the same bad results for you as a larger one, there is no reason for not doing the larger thing

hang about phrasal verb British English

1 . spoken to move slowly or take too long doing something:

Come on, we haven’t got time to hang about!

2 . hang about (something) to spend time somewhere without any real purpose:

There were always groups of boys hanging about in the square.

He normally hung about the house all day.

3 . hang about! spoken

a) used to ask someone to wait or stop what they are doing

b) used when you have just noticed or thought of something that is interesting or wrong:

Hang about – that can’t be right.

hang about with somebody phrasal verb British English informal

to spend a lot of time with someone

hang around/round (something) phrasal verb informal

to wait or spend time somewhere, doing nothing:

I hung around the station for an hour but he never came.

hang around with somebody phrasal verb

to spend a lot of time with someone:

The people I used to hang around with were much older than me.

hang back phrasal verb

1 . to stay a short distance away from someone or something, and not go too near them:

Instinctively he hung back in the shelter of a rock.

2 . to not say or do something because you are shy or afraid

hang on phrasal verb

1 . to hold something tightly

hang on to

She hung on to the side of the cart.

Hang on tight!

2 . hang on! British English spoken

a) used to ask or tell someone to wait SYN hold on :

Hang on! I’ll be back in a minute.

b) used when you have just noticed or thought of something that is interesting or wrong

3 . hang on something to depend on something:

Everything hangs on the outcome of this meeting.

4 . hang on sb’s words/every word to pay close attention to everything someone is saying:

She was watching his face, hanging on his every word.

hang on to something ( also hang onto something ) phrasal verb

to keep something:

I think I’ll hang on to the documents for a bit longer.

hang out phrasal verb

1 . informal to spend a lot of time in a particular place or with particular people

hang out with

I don’t really know who she hangs out with.

Where do the youngsters hang out?

⇨ ↑ hangout

2 . hang something ↔ out to hang clothes outside in order to dry them:

My job was to hang out the washing.

Hang the wet things out to dry.

3 . let it all hang out informal to relax and do what you like

hang over something/somebody phrasal verb

if something bad is hanging over you, you are worried or anxious about it:

The threat of redundancy was still hanging over us.

It’s not very nice to have huge debts hanging over your head.

hang together phrasal verb

1 . if a plan, story, set of ideas etc hangs together, it is well organized and its different parts go well together:

Her story just doesn’t hang together.

2 . if people hang together, they help each other

hang up phrasal verb

1 . to finish a telephone conversation:

I said goodbye and hung up.

hang up on

Don’t hang up on me.

2 . hang something ↔ up to hang clothes on a hook etc:

She took her coat off and hung it up.

3 . hang up your hat/football boots/briefcase etc informal to stop doing a particular kind of work

⇨ ↑ hang-up , ↑ hung-up

II. hang 2 BrE AmE noun

get the hang of something informal to learn how to do something or use something:

It seems difficult at first, but you’ll soon get the hang of it.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.