(hung; also hanged; hanging)
Etymology: partly from Middle English hon, from Old English hōn, verbt.; partly from Middle English hangen, from Old English hangian, verbi. & verbt.; both akin to Old High German hāhan, verbt., to hang, hangēn, verbi. — more at cunctation
Date: before 12th century
a. to fasten to some elevated point without support from below ; suspend
b. to suspend by the neck until dead — often hanged in the past; often used as a mild oath <I'll be hanged> c. to fasten so as to allow free motion within given limits upon a point of suspension <hang a door> d. to adjust the hem of (a skirt) so as to hang evenly and at a proper height 2. to furnish with hanging decorations (as flags or bunting) 3. to hold or bear in a suspended or inclined manner <hung his head in shame> 4. to apply to a wall <hang wallpaper> 5. to display (pictures) in a gallery 6. to throw (as a curveball) so that it fails to break properly 7. to make (a turn) especially while driving <hang a right> <hung a quick U-turn — Tom Clancy> 8. base, found <something to hang our hopes on> intransitive verb 1. a. to remain suspended or fastened to some point above without support from below ; dangle b. to die by hanging — often hanged in the past <he hanged for his crimes> c. to be connected as something relevant or related <thereby hangs a tale — Shakespeare> 2. to remain poised or stationary in the air <clouds hanging low overhead> 3. linger, persist 4. to be imminent ; impend <doom hung over the nation> 5. to fall or droop from a usually tense or taut position 6. depend <election hangs on one vote> 7. a. (1) to take hold for support ; cling <she hung on his arm> (2) to keep persistent contact <dogs hung to the trail> (3) to maintain or continue holding a position <hang behind> (4) to stay even ; keep up — usually used with with <trying to hang with the leader> b. to be burdensome or oppressive <time hangs on his hands> 8. to be uncertain or in suspense <the decision is still hanging> 9. to lean, incline, or jut over or downward 10. to be in a state of rapt attention <hung on her every word> 11. to fit or fall from the figure in easy lines <the coat hangs loosely> 12. to pass time idly or in relaxing or socializing <hanging at the beach> — often used with around or out <hung out with friends> 13. of a thrown ball to fail to break or drop as intended • hangable adjective Usage: For both transitive and intransitive senses 1b the past and past participle hung, as well as hanged, is standard. Hanged is most appropriate for official executions <he was to be hanged, cut down whilst still alive…and his bowels torn out — Louis Allen> but hung is also used <gave orders that she should be hung — Peter Quennell>. Hung is more appropriate for less formal hangings <by morning I'll be hung in effigy — Ronald Reagan>. II. noun Date: circa 1797 1. the manner in which a thing hangs 2. declivity, slope; also droop 3. facility with or an understanding of something <can't get the hang of this> 4. a hesitation or slackening in motion or in a course
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.