hang about

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hang about (third-person singular simple present hangs about, present participle hanging about, simple past and past participle hung about)

  1. (informal) To linger, loiter, or stay.
    Synonyms: hang around, hang out
    If you hang about after the show, you can meet the cast.
    • 1881–1882, Robert Louis Stevenson, “Black Dog Appears and Disappears”, in Treasure Island, London, Paris: Cassell & Company, published 14 November 1883, →OCLC, part I (The Old Buccaneer), page 12:
      The stranger kept hanging about just inside the inn door, peering round the corner like a cat waiting for a mouse.
    • 1886, Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, translated by H.L. Brækstad, Folk and Fairy Tales, page 253:
      He was taken into the mountain by the fairies, and had been with them for many years, and at last they wanted him to marry their daughter, who was always hanging about after him.
    • 1922 February, James Joyce, “[Episode 16: Eumaeus]”, in Ulysses, Paris: Shakespeare and Company, [], →OCLC, part III [Nostos], page 572:
      Although unusual in the Dublin area, he knew that it was not by any means unknown for desperadoes who had next to nothing to live on to be abroad waylaying and generally terrorising peaceable pedestrians by placing a pistol at their head in some secluded spot outside the city proper, famished loiterers of the Thames embankment category they might be hanging about there or simply marauders ready to decamp with whatever boodle they could in one fell swoop at a moment's notice, your money or your life, leaving you there to point a moral, gagged and garrotted.
  2. (informal) Especially in the form to hang about with (someone): to spend time or be friends with.
    Synonyms: hang around, hang out
    My daughter likes to hang about with older kids after school.



hang about

  1. (UK, colloquial) wait a minute; hold on