hang (one) out to dry

(redirected from hung him out to dry)

hang (one) out to dry

To desert one in a troubling situation. He says he's my friend, but then he totally hung me out to dry in that meeting! Not one word of support as the boss tore into me!
See also: dry, hang, out

hang someone out to dry

Fig. to defeat or punish someone. The boss was really angry at Billie. He yelled at him and hung him out to dry.
See also: dry, hang, out

hang out to dry

Abandon someone to danger, as in The squadron withdrew and just let us hang out to dry. This expression alludes to hanging wet laundry on a clothesline. [Slang; 1960s]
See also: dry, hang, out

hang someone out to dry

leave someone in a difficult or vulnerable situation. informal
The image here is of hanging wet washing on a clothes line to dry. The idea of ‘flapping uselessly or ineffectually’ like clothes drying in the wind is also behind the cricketing metaphor hanging your bat out to dry , which dates from the late 19th century and means ‘holding your bat away from your body at an ineffectual angle’.
1998 Spectator We point out that another MP…has been hung out to dry for failing to declare what was (relative to this) a minuscule interest.
See also: dry, hang, out, someone

hang somebody out to ˈdry

(American English, informal) leave somebody in a difficult situation without your support, especially to avoid receiving any blame yourself: It was his own party who hung him out to dry for losing the election.
See also: dry, hang, out, somebody
References in periodicals archive ?
But if the inquiry finds the Ministry of Defence broke promises to Dr Kelly to keep his name a secret and effectively hung him out to dry then heads will have to roll.