Etymology
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hang on (v.)

1860, "to remain clinging," 1860, especially "cling fondly to" (1871); see hang (v.) + on (adv.). As a command to be patient, wait a minute, from 1936, originally in telephone conversations.

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Definitions of hang on

hang on (v.)
fix to; attach;
Synonyms: append / tag on / tack on / tack
hang on (v.)
be persistent, refuse to stop;
Synonyms: persevere / persist / hang in / hold on
hang on (v.)
hold the phone line open;
Please hang on while I get your folder
Synonyms: hold the line / hold on
From wordnet.princeton.edu