hang on

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

  1. (idiomatic, chiefly imperative) To wait a moment.
    Hang on. Let me check.
  2. To hold, grasp, or grip.
    Hang on to the handle so you don't drop it.
    • 1886, Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, translated by H.L. Brækstad, Folk and Fairy Tales, page 271:
      "If you'll come along, then hang on!" said Hans, and the man had to hang on and limp along on one leg, whether he would or no; and when he tried to tear himself loose, he made it still worse for himself, for he was very nearly falling on his back whenever he struggled to get free.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 7, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      Old Applegate, in the stern, just set and looked at me, and Lord James, amidship, waved both arms and kept hollering for help. I took a couple of everlasting big strokes and managed to grab hold of the skiff's rail, close to the stern. Then, for a jiffy, I hung on and fought for breath.
  3. (idiomatic) To keep; to store something for someone.
    Hang on to my jacket until I get back.
  4. (idiomatic) To pay close attention to, or regard with (possibly obsequious) admiration.
    The audience hangs on his every word.
  5. (idiomatic) To continually believe in something; to have faith in.
    He's got a philosophy he hangs on to.
  6. (idiomatic) To persevere.
    Just hang on and keep going; this pain won't last forever.
    • 1972, Lou Reed (lyrics and music), “Perfect Day”:
      It's such a perfect day, I'm glad I spend it with you / Such a perfect day you just keep me hanging on / You just keep me hanging on
    • 1973, “Time”, in The Dark Side of the Moon, performed by Pink Floyd:
      Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
  7. (idiomatic) To depend upon.
    Synonym: hang upon
    Everything hangs on whether the boss agrees.



See also[edit]