Difference Wiki

Hang vs. Hover: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Published on December 9, 2023
Hang means to suspend or attach something so it dangles freely; hover involves remaining in one place in the air or near a specific position.

Key Differences

Hang typically refers to the act of suspending something from above so that it is free to swing or dangle. It implies attachment or support from a higher point. In contrast, hover describes the action of remaining stationary in the air or floating near a particular spot, often with slight movements.
When an object hangs, it is usually supported at a single point, allowing it to move freely with gravity's influence. Hovering, however, involves a balance of forces, allowing a person, bird, insect, or vehicle to stay in the air or close to a surface without landing.
The use of hang is common in various contexts, from hanging a picture on a wall to a person hanging from a bar. Hover is often used to describe birds like hummingbirds or technological devices like drones maintaining a stationary position in the air.
Hang can also have metaphorical meanings, such as an unresolved situation "hanging in the balance." Hover, on the other hand, can metaphorically imply someone staying close by, often in a protective or overseeing manner.
In hanging, the emphasis is on the point of suspension and the resulting free movement. In hovering, the focus is on the skill or technology that allows for maintaining a consistent position relative to a specific point or surface.

Comparison Chart

Basic Action

Suspending something from above
Remaining stationary in the air


Free to swing or dangle
Slight movements while maintaining position

Common Usage

Hanging objects, clothing
Birds, insects, drones in air

Metaphorical Use

Unresolved or pending situations
Staying close by, often protectively


Point of suspension, gravity
Balance of forces, staying near a point

Hang and Hover Definitions


To remain suspended or poised.
The climber had to hang from the cliff edge for hours.


To remain in one place in the air.
The helicopter hovered above the crowd.


To suspend or attach from above.
She decided to hang the painting in the living room.


To float or move slowly in the air.
Bees hover around the flowers in the garden.


To be in an undecided or uncertain state.
The decision will hang until the next meeting.


To linger close to a place or person.
The waiter hovered nearby, ready to assist.


To dangle freely from a fixed point.
The keys hang from a hook by the door.


To move back and forth uncertainly.
She hovered in the doorway, undecided.


To let droop or fall.
He let the curtains hang loosely over the window.


To stay near a particular level or point.
The temperature hovered around freezing.


To fasten from above with no support from below; suspend
Hung the hat on a peg.


To remain floating, suspended, or fluttering in the air
Gulls hovering over the waves.


To suspend or fasten so as to allow free movement at or about the point of suspension
Hang a door.


To remain or linger in or near a place
Hovering around the speaker's podium.


Can people hover?

Not physically without aid, but they can hover in a metaphorical sense, staying close by.

Is hovering always in the air?

Primarily, but it can also refer to staying close to a surface or point.

How do you hang a picture?

By suspending it from a nail or hook on a wall.

What is hovering?

Remaining stationary in the air or near a specific position.

What types of objects can hang?

Anything that can be suspended, like clothes, decorations, or lights.

Can hang have a figurative meaning?

Yes, like a situation "hanging in the balance."

Can the term hang be used in sports?

Yes, like a gymnast hanging from bars.

Can animals hover?

Some, like certain birds and insects, can hover in the air.

What does it mean to hang something?

To suspend it from above so it dangles freely.

How do I hang curtains?

By attaching them to a rod or rail above a window.

Is hovering difficult for aircraft?

Yes, it requires precise control and balance.

How do drones hover?

By balancing lift and air resistance with their propellers.

What's a common example of hovering in nature?

Hummingbirds hovering near flowers.

What does "letting something hang" imply?

Allowing it to dangle or droop freely.

Is hang used in technology?

Yes, like a computer system "hanging" or freezing.

Do all insects hover?

No, only some insects like bees and dragonflies.

How do helicopters achieve hovering?

By balancing lift and gravity with rotating blades.

What does it mean when a price hovers?

It stays around a particular level or point.

What does it mean when someone hovers over you?

Stays close, often in an overseeing manner.

Can hang refer to execution?

Yes, historically it referred to death by hanging.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons