Definition of hanger-on in US English:


nounPlural hangers-on

  • A person who associates with another person or a group in a sycophantic manner or for the purpose of gaining some personal advantage.

    ‘he was a hanger-on who used to come around and drink with Father’
    • ‘The Continental became the meeting place for journalists covering the Vietnam War and for all the multi-plumed hangers-on anxious to make a dollar out of chaos.’
    • ‘It has been due to the realities of actually being in government and, less healthily, the proliferation of advisers and hangers-on who had no previous sympathy with Labour, new or old.’
    • ‘The privileged royal family includes thousands of members, surrounded by tens of thousands of retainers and hangers-on.’
    • ‘And like those spectators there were polarized groups, followers and hangers-on to the Candidates.’
    • ‘Under the ancien régime, no self-respecting local would be seen in the glitzy hotel bars, as only the party faithful and their gangster hangers-on frequented them.’
    • ‘Over hedge and fence they race, hounds in the lead, redcoats and hangers-on following on horseback.’
    • ‘Freeloaders and hangers-on from the union's various committees have been a fact of life on away trips with Scotland for a long time and at times their brass neck had to be seen to be appreciated.’
    • ‘But if you're tagging along for the adoration you get by being her bud, eventually people will see that you're just a hanger-on.’
    • ‘Thousands of journalists, TV producers and sundry hangers-on depend for their livelihoods on a good election.’
    • ‘Chris and Emma got married among friends, family and associated hangers-on on Saturday night.’
    • ‘There's nothing worse than a bunch of old hangers-on that get in the way of young people running for office.’
    • ‘Yet far worse, this self-electing oligarchy, largely consisting of senior owners, military types and their hangers-on, seem fatally compromised.’
    • ‘It's the world of an apparently mad rock star who's bored with it all and so contemptuous of the hangers-on that surround him, he speaks only to himself.’
    • ‘He even has a pop at the police for failing to clamp down on the hangers-on who follow parades.’
    • ‘We aren't paid the vast sums of money, we aren't as high profile, we don't have as much media intrusion or the sort of hangers-on that can be associated with Premiership stars.’
    • ‘There were always crazy hangers-on lounging around, but the people who worked with Andy formed a tight circle.’
    • ‘I don't want to be made to ‘feel better’ about the way in which a clique of developers, and their hangers-on, carve Belfast up amongst them.’
    • ‘But he also set an undisputed world record, for the number of aides, acolytes, spongers and hangers-on that he assembled in one place at the same time.’
    • ‘This year, many of the hangers-on won't be hanging around.’
    • ‘We shared a dressing rooms with some of the big stars, but many had their own hangers-on so you couldn't really get near them.’
    follower, flunkey, toady, camp follower, sycophant, fawner, parasite, leech
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/ˈˌhæŋər ˈˌɑn//ˈˌhaNGər ˈˌän/