hang back

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • v hang back to lag or linger behind "But in so many other areas we still are dragging"
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Hang back to hesitate
    • ***

Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. hangian, causal form of hón, pa.t. heng, pa.p. hangen; Dut. and Ger. hangen, Goth. hahan.

Usage

In literature:

In front, people would have benches to sit on, and on the back were nails to hang pots and pans.
"Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States" by Work Projects Administration
But when Mother had Callers and wanted Lutie to Show Off, then she would hang back and have to be Coaxed.
"More Fables" by George Ade
So I went back, with my last chance hanging on the experiment.
"A Walk from London to John O'Groat's" by Elihu Burritt
I haven't been hanging to the back of this outfit for the last eight miles just for fun, or exercise either.
"Love Under Fire" by Randall Parrish
Eric's white back was bare, his hands tied up, his head hanging, and his injured leg slightly lifted from the ground.
"Eric" by Frederic William Farrar
Those who had been prepared to carry the coffin to Minster were the last to hang back.
"The Nest of the Sparrowhawk" by Baroness Orczy
It was a full minute before the boy could find courage to press the hanging flesh back to its place.
"The Court of Boyville" by William Allen White
He put one foot of the dead man over each shoulder and let him hang down over his back.
"Traditions of the Tinguian: A Study in Philippine Folk-Lore" by Fay-Cooper Cole
When he sits in a chair places himself sidewise and hangs both arms over back.
"Murder in Any Degree" by Owen Johnson
He was habited in a black Persian cloak, edged with gold-lace, the hanging sleeves thrown back over his shoulders.
"Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXIX." by Various
He took a few seconds to reflect before deciding that he would follow her lead without further hanging back.
"The Wild Olive" by Basil King
Thou canst not hang back.
"The Lord of Dynevor" by Evelyn Everett-Green
Galileo determined that a pendulum, such as a hanging lamp, swings back and forth in equal intervals of time.
"Our Legal Heritage, 5th Ed." by S. A. Reilly
Hang it, here's that fellow PODBURY back again!
"Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 101, August 1, 1891" by Various
This man has nothing but the unwashed shirt which hangs on his slack back.
"Waysiders" by Seumas O'Kelly
Back she thrust the heavy hangings, turning a quick key in the lock and wrenching the door wide.
"The Fortieth Door" by Mary Hastings Bradley
Shall we, His children, hang back and thwart Him, just in the hour when He has put the victory in our hands?
"A Heroine of France" by Evelyn Everett-Green
Aubrey came back alone, and found them all hanging on his entrance.
"Elizabeth's Campaign" by Mrs. Humphrey Ward
He came back to the tree; and sat down, letting his hands hang loose, his head droop, and his shoulders contract.
"The Devil's Garden" by W. B. Maxwell
ARMS HANGING NATURALLY, thumbs against the seams of the trousers, fingers extended, and back of hand turned out.
"Military Instructors Manual" by James P. Cole and Oliver Schoonmaker
***

In poetry:

My soul looks back to see
The burdens thou didst bear
When hanging on the cursed tree,
And hopes her guilt was there.
"Hymn 142" by Isaac Watts
Then should we speak but servile words,
Or shall we hang our heads in shame?
Stand back of new-come foreign hordes,
And fear our heritage to claim?
"Fifty Years (1863-1913)" by James Weldon Johnson
I talk to the canvases that put my life in danger,
Hang them from clouds and trees,
Step back for some perspective.
You can easily engage the Italian masters in conversation.
"Paintings" by Marin Sorescu
Wonder as of old things
Fresh and fair come back
Hangs over pasture and road.
Lush in the lowland grasses rise
And upland beckons to upland.
The great strong hills are humble.
"Uplands In May" by Carl Sandburg
How do we keep his birthday now?
We ring the bells and we raise the strain,
We hang up garland, everywhere
And bid the tapers, twinkle fair,
And feast and frolic--and then we go
Back to the Mine old lives again.
"Christmas" by Susan Coolidge
But remember, Saviour,
That my heart which like a lark at heaven's gate singing,
hovers morning-bright to Thee,
Throws still the dark blood back and forth
In the avenues where the bat hangs sleeping, upside-down
And to me undeniable, Jesus.
"St. Matthew" by D H Lawrence

In news:

He said research revealed that the engineering method of hanging everything from a center pole was used on carousels as far back as 500 B.C.
Private-Equity Owners Ready to Sell Several Cosmetics Companies, but Potential Buyers Hang Back.
Follow Rachel Bilson's example and let the ends hang loose for a laid-back take on the look.
NEW YORK — Georgia bounced back from a rough start to the season by hanging with the No.
For those hoping Petrino was going to just hang around in Fayetteville then slip back into the program, sorry, but his house has now sold.
When you come back, you just slide it back on the bracket, you lift it and your clothes are back hanging .
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has already stated Jason Terry would be welcomed back as a team employee and could very well see his jersey hanging in the rafters.
Back then, it was all about making planters, wall hangings and funky belts.
One day back in high school I was hanging out at a friend's house.
After spending time with Chris Brown during his Carpe Diem world tour, Rihanna will be back stateside this weekend to hang out with her fans.
Sometimes—not always, but sometimes—it's just too much effort to hang your separates up back in the closet where they belong at the end of the day.
Proponents of the inversion table say that hanging upside down extends the back and relieves back pain .
The back lounge is a great place to hang out—challenge your friends to a game of darts, foosball, PGA golf, or PBA bowling.
Tim helped me hang the kitchen curtains that we'd bought back in the summer, and they looked perfect with the yellow walls and white trim.
Hanging back, dropping hints, and generally mousing around gets you nowhere and drives other people nuts.
***