Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR HANG FIRE

It 's one thing to say she 's a wife: you hang fire when it 's to say she 's my sister-in-law.'

If a dnouement seems to hang fire, hasten its progress by a thrashing.

Well, you see—such things are often apt to hang fire for a long time.

For Marianne seemed to hang fire and hesitate over her departure.

The answer was sharp, yet seemed, as soldiers say, to "hang fire" a second.

If Ashley were to hang fire you wouldn't know where the devil you were.

It seems to have that quality of mystery that belongs to all affairs of the kind when they hang fire.

His inventions seemed to hang fire until introduced into Lancashire, when they were adopted by a Mr. Peel, Arkwright and others.

If I put off writing the paper you asked me for, till I can do it conveniently, it may hang fire till this time next year.

We brushed up and watched the first signs of dawn through an open port; but the day seemed to hang fire.

WORD ORIGIN

c.1200, furen, figurative, "arouse, excite;" literal sense of "set fire to" is from late 14c., from fire (n.). The Old English verb fyrian "to supply with fire" apparently did not survive into Middle English.

The sense of "sack, dismiss" is first recorded 1885 in American English (earlier "throw (someone) out" of some place, 1871), probably from a play on the two meanings of discharge: "to dismiss from a position," and "to fire a gun," fire in the second sense being from "set fire to gunpowder," attested from 1520s. Of bricks, pottery, etc., from 1660s. Related: Fired; firing. Fired up "angry" is from 1824. Firing squad is attested from 1904.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR HANG FIRE

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.