hang back

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hang back

1. To stay behind as others move ahead. Hey, can you hang back for a minute? I have a question for you.
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 groups of four, the two people in the middle both hung back to make a U-shape.
We are delighted to have Hung back at Exar in engineering," said Richard L.
With his national road race champion jersey ripped and his back decorated by tell-tale signs of gravel rash, only one team-mate - Peter Velits - hung back to help - Peter Velits - hung back to help him return to the pack.
Lampard, 31, hung back so that they would not be spotted leaving together but the club's glass doors clearly showed his reflection.
My wife kind of hung back and changed the flight around so they could see me finish, but they had to leave immediately.
Teddy Sheringham corner routine, Scholes hung back as his team-mates filled the box for a free-kick on the right.
He told the jury the driver flashed him and hung back which he said he understood from the "driver's code" meant he was letting him go ahead.
That year, Hallstrom hung back in Sweden, avoiding the pre-Oscar festivities.
The Scot hung back as Olympic champion Fatuma Roba set a fast early pace and went through the half way mark back in 6th place over half a minute down on the lead.
When they left he hung back to try to avoid them having their picture taken together.
The Americans hung back in their comfort zone and that is why they bowed out clumsily in the quarterfinals of an Olympic tournament they believed they were destined to win.