hang

1 of 2

verb

hung ˈhəŋ How to pronounce hang (audio) also hanged ˈhaŋd How to pronounce hang (audio) ; hanging ˈhaŋ-iŋ How to pronounce hang (audio)

transitive verb

1
a
: to fasten to some elevated point without support from below : suspend
hang a picture on the wall
b
: to suspend by the neck until dead
often hanged in the past
often used as a mild oath
I'll be hanged
c
: to fasten so as to allow free motion within given limits upon a point of suspension
hang a door
d
: to adjust the hem of (a skirt) so as to hang evenly and at a proper height
2
: to furnish with hanging decorations (such as flags or bunting)
Hang the windows with velvet curtains.
a room hung with streamers
3
: to hold or bear in a suspended or inclined manner
hung his head in shame
4
: to apply to a wall
hang wallpaper
5
: to display (pictures) in a gallery
6
baseball : to throw (a pitch, such as a curveball) so that it fails to break properly
7
: to make (a turn) especially while driving
hang a right
hung a quick U-turn Tom Clancy
8
: base, found
something to hang our hopes on

intransitive verb

1
a
: to remain suspended or fastened to some point above without support from below : dangle
b
: to die by being suspended by the neck
often hanged in the past
He hanged for his crimes.
c
: to be connected as something relevant or related
thereby hangs a tale William Shakespeare
2
: to hover or remain stationary in the air
clouds hanging low overhead
3
: linger, persist
The thought hung in her mind for days.
4
: to be imminent : impend
doom hung over the nation
5
: to fall or droop from a usually tense or taut position
let the reins hang loose on the horse's back
Their mouths hung open in disbelief.
6
: depend
election hangs on one vote
7
a(1)
: to take hold for support : cling
she hung on his arm
(2)
: to keep persistent contact
dogs hung to the trail
(3)
: to maintain or continue holding a position
hang behind
(4)
: to stay even : keep up
usually used with with
trying to hang with the leader
b
: to be burdensome or oppressive
time hangs on his hands
8
: to be uncertain or in suspense
the decision is still hanging
9
: to lean, incline, or jut over or downward
a rocky cliff that hangs overhead
10
: to be in a state of rapt attention
hung on her every word
11
: to fit or fall from the figure in easy lines
the coat hangs loosely
12
informal : to pass time idly or in relaxing or socializing : hang around, hang out
hanging with friends
hanging at the beach
Off the track, Jones was all but invisible in Sydney. She prefers hanging with her husband … and a small inner circle of friends. Mark Starr
I had the chance to hang with Taibbi recently after he spoke to a Denver audience about his new book … David Sirota
13
of a thrown ball : to fail to break or drop as intended
hangable adjective
Hanged vs. Hung: Usage Guide

For both transitive and intransitive senses 1b the past and past participle hung, as well as hanged, is standard. Hanged is most appropriate for official executions

he was to be hanged, cut down whilst still alive … and his bowels torn out Louis Allen

but hung is also used.

gave orders that she should be hung Peter Quennell

Hung is more appropriate for less formal hangings.

by morning I'll be hung in effigy Ronald Reagan

hang

2 of 2

noun

1
: the manner in which a thing is poised when suspended from above without support from below : the way in which a thing hangs (see hang entry 1)
the hang of a skirt
2
: declivity, slope
also : droop
the hang of his lower lip
3
: facility with or an understanding of something
can't get the hang of this
4
: a hesitation or slackening in motion or in a course
a marked hang of the oar in the air before it dipped
Phrases
hang fire
1
: to be slow in the explosion of a charge after its primer has been discharged
2
3
: to remain unsettled or unresolved
The plans had to hang fire until the city council approved them.
hang it up
: to cease an activity or effort
We all agreed it was time to hang it up.
hang loose
: to remain calm or relaxed
hang one on
1
: to inflict a blow on
wanted to hang one on him
2
slang : to get very drunk
hang out to dry
: to leave stranded in a hopeless or dangerous situation
The company hung us out to dry.
hang one's hat
1
: to situate oneself in a place (such as a residence or place of employment)
looking for a new place to hang my hat
2
hang one's hat on : to have or use (something) as a source of support
need a career to hang my hat on
hang ten
: to ride a surfboard with the toes of both feet turned over the front edge
hang tough
: to remain resolute in the face of adversity : hang in
give a hang or care a hang
: to be the least bit concerned or worried
She doesn't give a hang whether she wins or not.

Example Sentences

Verb He hung the painting on the wall. We hung paper lanterns from the trees. My grandmother used to hang the wash on a clothesline. A photograph of her family hangs on the wall. Several of her paintings are hanging in the Museum of Modern Art. Your coat is hanging in the closet. They plan to hang wallpaper in the hallway. He let his arm hang down into the water. They will hang him in the county jailhouse. He was hanged for his crimes. Noun the hang of a skirt proceeded carefully on snowshoes down the steep hang See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Drape them down the side of your house or hang them from a tree to design a large Christmas tree image. Emily Rochotte, Good Housekeeping, 22 Nov. 2022 Place it in a frame and hang it up on your wall to add an instant dose of magic to any room. Leah Campano, Seventeen, 9 Nov. 2022 If your patio or deck is uncovered, shop for a garden mirror made with materials that can withstand the elements, but don't hang it in direct sunlight. Heather Luckhurst, Better Homes & Gardens, 9 Nov. 2022 The gift receiver can even glue it together when they're done and hang it up as art. Jamie Ballard, Woman's Day, 3 Nov. 2022 There is a scary electrical charge of intolerance in the air, and a cultural icon has decided not only to touch the live wire, but to hang it around his neck, wave it around, and run it up the flagpole of his fame. Bill Carter, CNN, 2 Nov. 2022 Protesters who breeched the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 singled out Pelosi among their targets, some of them entering her office, others threatening to shoot or hang her. Nick Penzenstadler, USA TODAY, 1 Nov. 2022 Time will tell if the Bruins will have capable top-six centers ready when Bergeron and Krejci finally hang ‘em up. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 27 Oct. 2022 Play on the floor or hang it up on your wall as your little ones learn about different countries and continents, and some of the things that can be found in each. Lauren Gray, Popular Mechanics, 27 Oct. 2022
Noun
Her supporters are pitching her as a unity candidate: someone who can steady the ship without infighting or ideological hang-ups. Patrick Smith, NBC News, 21 Oct. 2022 Leave Bro to work though his own hang-ups without you. Carolyn Hax, Washington Post, 15 Oct. 2022 Kids and adult newbies to the hoverboard world will appreciate the Razor Hovertrax Prizma’s training setting, allowing riders to get the hang of the device before allowing more advanced stops and turns. Popular Mechanics, 15 Nov. 2022 Luckily, skin cycling is a pretty easy process to get the hang of. Maggie O'neill, SELF, 17 Sep. 2022 Since then, Lee and Youcef have been getting the hang of being a couple in the public eye. Angela Andaloro, PEOPLE.com, 4 July 2022 That may sound like a long sit for first-timers still getting the hang of Sondheim. San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 Mar. 2022 The guys of Modern English hang with Debbie Gibson backstage at The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in N.Y.C. on Oct. 4. Olivia Colman films Wicked Little Letters in Littlehampton, England, on Oct. 4. People Staff, Peoplemag, 11 Oct. 2022 An armchair balances on the dining table, a television set sits on its side against the living room wall, portraits of the sea hang crooked. Erica Lee, CNN, 8 Oct. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hang.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Verb and Noun

partly from Middle English hon, from Old English hōn, transitive verb; partly from Middle English hangen, from Old English hangian, intransitive verb & transitive verb; both akin to Old High German hāhan, transitive verb, to hang, hangēn, intransitive verb — more at cunctation

First Known Use

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

circa 1797, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of hang was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near hang

Cite this Entry

“Hang.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hang. Accessed 8 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

hang

1 of 2 verb
hung ˈhəŋ How to pronounce hang (audio) also hanged ˈhaŋd How to pronounce hang (audio) ; hanging ˈhaŋ-iŋ How to pronounce hang (audio)
1
a
: to fasten or be fastened to an elevated point without support from below : suspend, dangle
b
: to kill or be killed by hanging from a rope tied round the neck
sentenced to be hanged
c
: to fasten so as to allow free motion forward and backward
hang a door
2
: to furnish with hanging decorations (as pictures or curtains)
3
: droop entry 1 sense 1
hung my head in shame
4
: to fasten to a wall
hang wallpaper
5
: to display pictures in a gallery
6
: hover sense 1b
clouds hanging low overhead
7
: to stay steadily
8
: depend sense 1
election hangs on one vote
9
a
: to take hold for support : cling
the children hung on his arm
b
: to be hard to bear
worry hung on his mind
10
: to be uncertain
the decision is still hanging
11
: to be in a state of close attention
hung on my every word
12
: to pass time idly especially by relaxing or socializing
often used with around or out
hung out with friends
hangable adjective

hang

2 of 2 noun
1
: the manner in which a thing hangs
the hang of a skirt
2
a
: meaning entry 1 sense 1b
the hang of an argument
b
: a special method : knack
get the hang of driving

Legal Definition

hang

verb
hung also hanged; hanging

transitive verb

: to suspend by the neck until dead especially as a form of execution
often hanged in the past tense

intransitive verb

1
: to die by hanging
often hanged in the past tense
he hanged for his crimes
2
: to be unable to reach a decision or verdict
the jury hung on 19 counts against [him] Randall Samborn

More from Merriam-Webster on hang

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