Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- (idiomatic) A crime so serious that it is punishable by means of death by hanging.
1908, John Fox Jr., chapter 26, in The Trail of the Lonesome Pine:
- Word reached the ear of the prosecuting attorney of the only testimony that could establish a motive and make the crime a hanging offence.
- 1999 June 18, Rod Beaton, "Astros winning despite obstacles," USA Today:
- Since when is it a hanging offense to criticize someone who's not doing the job he's paid generously to do?