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1. To wait to take action. I know you want to start on that project, but hang fire until I get these questions answered by the boss.
2. To await further action. How many projects do you have hanging fire right now?
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Delayed; undecided. This term comes from the seventeenth-century flintlock musket. Frequently an attempt to fire it would end with a flash in the lockpan, a depression that held the priming powder, which would fail to explode the main charge. Thus the gun was left hanging fire, that is, slow to fire a charge. See also flash in the pan.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer