hang fire(redirected from hangs fire)
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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?
to delay or wait; to be delayed. I think we should hang fire and wait for other information. Our plans have to hang fire until we get planning permission.
Delay, as in The advertising campaign is hanging fire until they decide how much to spend on it. This expression originally referred to the 17th-century flintlock musket, where the priming powder ignited but often failed to explode the main charge, a result called hanging fire. [c. 1800]
1. If you hang fire, you wait and do not do anything for a while. Banks and building societies are hanging fire on interest rates to see how the French vote in their referendum.
2. If something hangs fire, nothing is done about it for a while. He spent the next 18 months worrying about the numerous important programmes that were hanging fire in his absence. Note: This expression dates from the time when firearms used gunpowder rather than bullets. If a gun hung fire, it did not fire properly because the gunpowder had not caught light. `Flash in the pan' has a similar origin.
hang firedelay or be delayed in taking action or progressing.
In the late 18th century, hang fire was used to refer to the action of a firearm that was slow in communicating the fire through the vent to the charge and so did not go off immediately.