Definition of hang verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//hæŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//hæŋ//
    In sense 4, hanged
    BrE BrE//hæŋd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//hæŋd//
    is used for the past tense and past participle.
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they hang
    BrE BrE//hæŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//hæŋ//
    he / she / it hangs
    BrE BrE//hæŋz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//hæŋz//
    past simple hung
    BrE BrE//hʌŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//hʌŋ//
    past participle hung
    BrE BrE//hʌŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//hʌŋ//
    -ing form hanging
    BrE BrE//ˈhæŋɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈhæŋɪŋ//
    Types of punishment, Interior décor, The art world
    jump to other results
    attach from top
  1. 1  [transitive, intransitive] to attach something, or to be attached, at the top so that the lower part is free or loose hang something + adv./prep. Hang your coat on the hook. hang something up Shall I hang your coat up? hang something (out) (British English) Have you hung out the washing? (North American English) Have you hung the wash? hang adv./prep. There were several expensive suits hanging in the wardrobe.
  2. fall loosely
  3. 2  [intransitive] hang adv./prep. when something hangs in a particular way, it falls in that way Her hair hung down to her waist. He had lost weight and the suit hung loosely on him.
  4. bend downwards
  5. 3  [intransitive, transitive] to bend or let something bend downwards hang adv./prep. The dog's tongue was hanging out. Children hung (= were leaning) over the gate. A cigarette hung from her lips. hang something She hung her head in shame.
  6. kill somebody
  7. 4  (hanged, hanged) [transitive, intransitive] hang (somebody/yourself) to kill somebody, usually as a punishment, by tying a rope around their neck and allowing them to drop; to be killed in this way He was the last man to be hanged for murder in this country. She had committed suicide by hanging herself from a beam. At that time you could hang for stealing. See related entries: Types of punishment
  8. pictures
  9. 5  [transitive, intransitive] hang (something) to attach something, especially a picture, to a hook on a wall; to be attached in this way We hung her portrait above the fireplace. Several of his paintings hang in the Tate Gallery. See related entries: Interior décor, The art world
  10. 6[transitive, usually passive] hang something with something to decorate a place by placing paintings, etc. on a wall The rooms were hung with tapestries.
  11. wallpaper
  12. 7[transitive] hang something to stick wallpaper to a wall See related entries: Interior décor
  13. door/gate
  14. 8[transitive] hang something to attach a door or gate to a post so that it moves freely
  15. stay in the air
  16. 9[intransitive] + adv./prep. to stay in the air Smoke hung in the air above the city.
  17. Word OriginOld English hangian (intransitive verb), of West Germanic origin, related to Dutch and German hangen, reinforced by the Old Norse transitive verb hanga.Extra examples Hang on a minute—I’ll just see if he’s here. Hang on tight—we’re off. Hang on to those old photographs—they may be valuable. Hang on to= keep those old photographs—they may be valuable. Her injured arm hung uselessly at her side. Large leaves hung down from the branches of the trees. Martin tried to hang on with one hand. She hung on for dear life. The monkey was hanging by its tail from the beams overhead. The sloth spends most of its time hanging upside down from the branches. Hang your coat up on the hook. Heavy grey clouds were hanging low in the sky. Several of his paintings hang in the Museum of Modern Art. The question seemed to hang in the space between them. The room was hung with tapestries. The smell of burning plastic hung in the air. Where are we supposed to hang our washing up to dry?Idioms (British English, informal) used to say that you are not going to worry about something Oh, let's get two and hang the expense! (of a person’s life) to be in great danger to delay or be delayed in taking action The project had hung fire for several years for lack of funds.
    1. 1hang/lie heavy (on/in something) (of a feeling or something in the air) to be very noticeable in a particular place in a way that is unpleasant Smoke lay heavy on the far side of the water. Despair hangs heavy in the stifling air.
    2. 2hang/lie heavy on somebody/something to cause somebody/something to feel uncomfortable or anxious The crime lay heavy on her conscience.
    (informal) to remain determined to succeed even when a situation is difficult (North American English) to take a left/right turn (informal, especially North American English) to remain calm; to not worry It's OK—hang loose and stay cool.
    hang/hold on for/like grim death (British English) (also hang/hold on for dear life North American English, British English)
    jump to other results
    (informal) to hold somebody/something very tightly because you are afraid
    hang on somebody’s words/on somebody’s every word
    jump to other results
    to listen with great attention to somebody you admire
    (North American English) to be determined and refuse to change your attitude or ideas
    (be/hang) in the balance
    jump to other results
    if the future of something/somebody, or the result of something is/hangs in the balance, it is uncertain The long-term future of the space programme hangs in the balance. Tom’s life hung in the balance for two weeks as he lay in a coma.
    (informal) to express your feelings freely
    (you, etc.) may/might as well be hanged/hung for a sheep as (for) a lamb
    jump to other results
    (saying) if you are going to be punished for doing something wrong, whether it is a big or small thing, you may as well do the big thing
    a peg to hang something on
    jump to other results
    something that gives you an excuse or opportunity to discuss or explain something The character provides a peg to hang the writer’s political ideas on.
    Phrasal Verbshang abouthang about with somebodyhang around (…)hang around with somebodyhang backhang back (from something)hang onhang on somethinghang on to somethinghang outhang somethingouthang over somebodyhang togetherhang uphang somethinguphang up on somebody hang with somebody
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: hang