hang back


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia.

hang back

1. To stay behind as others move ahead. Hey, can you hang back for a minute? I have a question for you. I'm going to hang back for a bit and take some more pictures of the waterfall.
2. To wait to take action. Hang back on that project until I get these questions answered by the boss.
See also: back, hang

hang back

(from someone or something) to lag back behind someone or something; to stay back from someone or something, perhaps in avoidance. Why are you hanging back from the rest of the group? Come on! Don't hang back!
See also: back, hang

hang back

Be reluctant to move ahead, hold back. For example, They hung back at the entrance, fearful that they wouldn't be admitted, or We hung back to let our parents go in first. [Second half of 1500s]
See also: back, hang

hang back

v.
1. To keep a distance behind others; lag: Everyone surged forward, but I hung back, afraid I'd be crushed. I hung back behind the popular kids as I walked through the hall.
2. To delay or hesitate on some task; hold off: You should hang back on filling out college applications until you get better test scores.
See also: back, hang
References in periodicals archive ?
In fairness to the former Leicester City man, he is under orders to hang back as cover when Glentoran take corner kicks.
And Richard Park, the demon headmaster of the BBC's Fame Academy, won't hang back from giving them a verbal six of the best.
While demand remains steady, a lack of supply is pushing prices higher as automotive industry workers hang back in the Rover uncertainty.
Roughly a quarter of the fish in one group that was tested consistently fled from a novel intrusion poking into their pond, a yardstick with a red tip, but these apparently timid individuals were no more likely than other fish to hang back from sampling unfamiliar food.
It was clever of Barack Obama to hang back and force the Arabs to do something, but I think we may well say they should have been left to do more than lobby.
"It was nice of the others to hang back so far," quipped Loder who leaves Newmarket at the end of the year to train for Sheikh Mohammed in France.
But Chief Constable Robertson didn't hang back. "I have full confidence in all my staff," he blasted.
New research indicates that, within prides, some adult females serve as aggressive leaders who readily defend territory against intruders, while others emerge as laggards who always or frequently hang back in the face of such danger.
It was a pity he got stopped when Gateman hung off the rail, and the jockey said if he had come up the rail he might have won, but he was worried Gateman could hang back in front of him.
Our source adds: "Derek tried to hang back to let Cheryl do her thing, but she couldn't keep her eyes off him.
Alan said: "I'm trying to hang back. I'm not doing it on purpose."
Cragg opted to hang back in the 3,000m pack before making his move in the final 800m.
It's making it difficult for homebuyers who can afford it to decide whether to take the plunge or hang back. If they take the plunge they could buy a property whose value will fall, but if they hang back they may end up paying more.