hang / hang/ • v. (past hung / həng/ except in sense 2) 1. suspend or be suspended from above with the lower part dangling free: [tr.] that's where people are supposed to hang their wash | [intr.] a chain hanging freely over two pegs. ∎ attach or be attached to a wall: [tr.] we could just hang the pictures on the walls | [intr.] the room in which the pictures will hang. ∎ (be hung with) be adorned with pictures or other decorations: the walls of her hall were hung with examples of her work. ∎ exhibit or be exhibited, as in a museum. ∎ attach or be attached so as to allow free movement about the point of attachment: [tr.] a long time was spent hanging a couple of doors. ∎ [intr.] droop: she just sat with her mouth hanging open. ∎ [intr.] (of fabric or a garment) be arranged in folds so as to droop in a specified way: this blend of silk and wool hangs well and resists creases. ∎ [tr.] paste (wallpaper) to a wall. ∎ informal way of saying hang around (sense 2) or hang out (sense 3).2. (past hanged) [tr.] kill (someone) by tying a rope attached from above around the neck and removing the support from beneath (used as a form of capital punishment): he was hanged for murder she hanged herself in her cell. ∎ [intr.] be killed in such a way: both men were sentenced to hang. ∎ dated used in expressions as a mild oath: [intr.] they could all go hang | [tr.] I'm hanged if I know. 3. [intr.] remain static in the air: a haze of smoke hung below the ceiling. ∎ be present or imminent, esp. oppressively or threateningly: a sense of dread hung over him for days. ∎ [tr.] Baseball deliver (a breaking pitch) that does not change direction as intended.4. [tr.] (of a juror) prevent (a jury) from reaching a verdict by a dissenting vote.5. Comput. come or cause to come unexpectedly to a state in which no further operations can be carried out.• n. [in sing.] a downward droop or bend: the bullish hang of his head. ∎ the way in which something hangs: the hang of one's clothes. ∎ the way in which pictures are displayed in an exhibition.PHRASES: get the hang of inf. learn how to operate or do (something): it's quite simple when you get the hang of it.hang by a threadsee thread.hang fire delay or be delayed in taking action or progressing.hang one's hat inf. be resident.hang heavily (or heavy) (of time) pass slowly.hang in the air remain unresolved: the question that has been hanging in the air.hang a left (or right) inf. make a left (or right) turn.hang loosesee loose.hang someone out to dry inf. leave someone in a difficult or vulnerable situation.hang ten Surfing ride a surfboard with all ten toes curled over the board's front edge.hang tough be or remain inflexible or firmly resolved.let it all hang out inf. be very relaxed or uninhibited.not care (or give) a hang inf. not care at all: people just don't give a hang about plants.PHRASAL VERBS: hang around1. loiter; wait around: undercover officers spent most of their time hanging around bars.2. (hang around with) associate with (someone): he never hangs around with that gang.hang back remain behind: Stephen hung back for fear of being seen. ∎ show reluctance to act or move: they were hanging back, each unwilling to speak first.hang in inf. remain persistent and determined in difficult circumstances: in the second half, we just had to hang in there.hang on1. hold tightly: he hung on to the back of her coat. ∎ inf. remain firm or persevere, esp. in difficult circumstances: we must hang on as best we can. ∎ (hang on to) keep; retain: he is determined to hang on to his job.2. inf. wait for a short time: hang on a minute—do you think I might have left anything out? ∎ (on the telephone) remain connected until one is able to talk to a particular person.3. be contingent or dependent on: the future of Europe should not hang on a referendum by the French.4. listen closely to: she hung on his every word.hang something on inf. attach the blame for something to (someone).hang out1. (of laundry) hang from a clothesline to dry.2. (of a shirttail or other piece of clothing) protrude and hang loosely downward: with the front tucked in and the tail hanging out.3. inf. spend time relaxing or enjoying oneself: musicians hang out with their own kind.hang together1. make sense; be consistent: it helps the speech to hang together.2. (of people) remain associated; help or support each other.hang up1. hang from a hook, hanger, etc.: his good shirt's ironed and hanging up.2. end a telephone conversation by cutting the connection. ∎ (hang up on) end a telephone conversation with (someone) by abruptly cutting the connection.hang up something hang something on a hook: a closet where he could hang up his clothes. ∎ inf. cease or retire from the activity associated with the garment or object specified: he will soon have to hang up his referee's whistle for good.
Hence hangman XIV.
hang someone out to dry leave someone in a difficult or vulnerable situation (chiefly North American); the idea is of wet washing suspended from a washing-line, flapping in the wind.
See also give a dog a bad name and hang him, hang as high as Haman, hanged, hanging, give a man rope enough and he will hang himself.