Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

hang on  - definition and synonyms

Close

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
phrasal verb
Word Forms
Close
present tense
I/you/we/theyhang on
he/she/ithangs on
present participlehanging on
past tensehung on
past participlehung on
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    [intransitive] to hold tightly to something
    hang on to:

    The train rattled along and we both hung on to the straps.

    hang on tight:

    Just sit still and hang on tight!

  2. 2
    [intransitive] [often in imperative] spoken to wait or be patient

    I think we should hang on and see the end of the game.

  3. 3
    [transitive]hang on something to depend on something

    Everything hangs on the result of the last race.

  4. 4
    [intransitive] to continue doing something and achieve success even though there are difficulties
  5. 5
    [intransitive] [always in imperative] British spoken used for saying that you have just realized something

    Hang on a minute! That isn’t the dress she was wearing earlier.

  6. 6
    hang on someone’s every word to listen very carefully to what someone is saying
See also main entry: hang

rat tail

a type of hairstyle which has a long, thin strip of hair growing down the back of the neck

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

speak human

(of a politician) to be able to communicate and connect with ordinary people

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog