verb (used with object)
to fasten or attach (a thing) so that it is supported only from above or at a point near its own top; suspend.
to attach or suspend so as to allow free movement:
to hang a pendulum.
to place in position or fasten so as to allow easy or ready movement.
to put to death by suspending by the neck from a gallows, gibbet, yardarm, or the like.
to suspend (oneself) by the neck until dead:
He hanged himself from a beam in the attic.
to fasten to a cross; crucify.
to furnish or decorate with something suspended:
to hang a room with pictures.
to fasten into position; fix at a proper angle:
to hang a scythe.
to fasten or attach (wallpaper, pictures, etc.) to a wall:
to hang pictures in a room.
to suspend (something) in front of anything:
to hang curtains on a window.
to exhibit (a painting or group of paintings):
The gallery hung his paintings in a small corner.
to put the paintings of (an art exhibition) on the wall of a gallery:
They hung the show that morning.
to attach or annex as an addition:
to hang a rider on a bill.
to attach (a door or the like) to its frame by means of hinges.
to make (an idea, form, etc.) dependent on a situation, structure, concept, or the like, usually derived from another source:
He hung the meaning of his puns on the current political scene.
(of a juror) to keep (a jury) from rendering a verdict by refusing to agree with the others.
to cause (a nickname, epithet, etc.) to become associated with a person:
Friends hung that nickname on him.
to hit with (a fist, blow, punch, etc.):
He hung a left on his opponent's jaw.
Baseball. to throw (a pitch) so that it fails to break, as a curve.
Nautical. to steady (a boat) in one place against a wind or current by thrusting a pole or the like into the bottom under the boat and allowing the wind or current to push the boat side-on against the pole.
(used in mild curses and emphatic expressions, often as a euphemism for damn
I'll be hanged if I do. Hang it all!
fusion of 3 verbs: (1) Middle English, Old English hōn
to hang (transitive), cognate with Gothic hāhan,
(2) Middle English hang
)en, Old English hangian
to hang (intransitive), cognate with German hangen;
(3) Middle English henge
< Old Norse hengja
(transitive), cognate with German hängen
hangable, adjectivehangability, nounrehang, verb (used with object), rehung or rehanged, rehanging.underhang, verb, underhung, underhanging.unhanged, adjective
Can be confused
(see synonym study at the current entry)hanged, hung
(see usage note at the current entry)
4. Hang, lynch
have in common the meaning of “to put to death,” but lynching is not always by hanging. Hang,
in the sense of execute, is in accordance with a legal sentence, the method of execution being to suspend by the neck until dead. To lynch,
however, implies the summary putting to death, by any method, of someone charged with a flagrant offense (though guilt may not have been proved). Lynching is done by private persons, usually a mob, without legal authority. 26.
depend, rely, rest, hinge.
has two forms for the past tense and past participle, hanged
The historically older form hanged
is now used exclusively in the sense of causing or putting to death: He was sentenced to be hanged by the neck until dead.
In the sense of legal execution, hung
is also quite common and is standard in all types of speech and writing except in legal documents. When legal execution is not meant, hung
has become the more frequent form: The prisoner hung himself in his cell.