Definition of hang fire in US English:

hang fire

phrase

  • Delay or be delayed in taking action or progressing.

    • ‘If clubs can see that a new manager is not going to be able to go to the transfer market straight away they may hang fire on getting rid of the old boss.’
    • ‘‘It's a strange situation, we haven't seen what we are looking for yet and with Andy unsure of his decision we may hang fire,’ said Barrow.’
    • ‘Given the obvious dangers of reading too much into such sales, it would only seem prudent for the Bank of England to hang fire on any rates changes until some sense has been restored to the overall retail picture.’
    • ‘I think everyone is hanging fire to see what happens.’
    • ‘Two years ago the District Auditor had warned the council that they must get rid of surplus places, but they had hung fire, because of good schools like Newland, and the upheaval caused to children and staff.’
    • ‘For want of a public debate, key projects are still hanging fire.’
    • ‘Orkney Tourist Board are hanging fire before committing £72,000 to a new tourism project, until they're sure their money will be well spent.’
    • ‘She said: ‘People have been hanging fire from the outset of the disease to see what happens and because of the outbreak here it's not picking up.’’
    • ‘We'll keep on looking but may have to hang fire until next week.’
    • ‘The international airport project has been hanging fire for the last 10 years, caught in a maze of controversies, suspicions, hurdles and delays.’
    delay, hang back, hold back, hold on, stall, stop, pause, cease, halt, discontinue, procrastinate, vacillate, adopt fabian tactics
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