hang up

Idioms & Phrases

hang up

  1. Suspend on a hook or hanger, as in Let me hang up your coat for you. [c. 1300]

  2. Also, hang up on. Replace a telephone receiver in its cradle; end a phone conversation. For example, She hung up the phone, or He hung up on her. [Early 1900s]

  3. Delay or hinder; also, become halted or snagged, as in Budget problems hung up the project for months, or Traffic was hung up for miles. [Second half of 1800s]

  4. Have or cause to have emotional difficulties, as in Being robbed at gunpoint can hang one up for years to come. [Slang; early 1900s]

  5. hung up on. Obsessed with, as in For years the FBI was hung up on Communist spies. [First half of 1900s]

  6. hang up one's sword or gloves or fiddle. Quit, retire, as in He's hanging up his sword next year and moving to Florida. The noun in these expressions refers to the profession one is leavingsword for the military, gloves for boxing, and fiddle for musicbut they all are used quite loosely as well, as in the example.

  7. hang up one's hat. Settle somewhere, reside, as in "Eight hundred a year, and as nice a house as any gentleman could wish to hang up his hat in" (Anthony Trollope, The Warden, 1855).

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Previous Definition: hang tough
Next Definition: hang, hanged
Words Near: hang up
More from Thesaurus.com
Synonyms and Antonyms for hang up
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing hang up
More from Dictionary.com Translator
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature