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Alternative forms[edit]


Agent noun of hang on.


hanger-on (plural hangers-on)

  1. Someone who hangs on, or sticks to, a person, place, or service.
    • c. 1760-1774, Oliver Goldsmith, An Elegy on the Glory of her Sex, Mrs Mary Blaze:
      Her love was sought, I do aver, / By twenty beaux and more; / The king himself has follow'd her / When she has walk'd before. / But now her wealth and finery fled, / Her hangers-on cut short all []
    • 1895, Benjamin Disraeli, Sybil: Or; The Two Nations, page 161:
      Not that he was what is commonly called a Screw; that is to say he was not a mere screw; but he was acute and malicious; saw everybody's worth and position at a glance; could not bear to expend his choice wines and costly viands on hangers-on and toadeaters, though at the same time no man encouraged and required hangers-on and toadeaters more.
    • 1939 September, D. S. Barrie, “The Railways of South Wales”, in Railway Magazine, page 158:
      The Rhymney (51 route miles), once an impecunious hanger-on of the Taff Vale, had enjoyed its own route through Caerphilly into Cardiff since 1871, [...].
  2. (mining, historical) An onsetter.



See also[edit]