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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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
(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!
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.