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I believe I've heard "hang out" being used to express a one-time and spontaneous gathering too. But, in dictionaries there is often an emphasis on the duration of activity and they define it as spending a lot of time with someone. So, does using hang out for spending an evening or for-a-time-to-time activity make sense?

For example:

... But I still hang out with them now and again.

Is it natural?

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"Hang out" simply means to spend time together in an informal setting. By definition, spending time with someone has to be more than just a brief encounter. However, no specific frequency is implied by the term. You can quality it by saying, for example, "we hang out often" or "we hang out occasionally". But if someone simply said of someone "we hang out", most people would assume there was some degree of regularity.

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  • Thanks! That informality is what I used to think of. So my understanding is I can use "hang out" for some informal gathering that used to be quite regular but now is done less often.
    – reith
    Aug 1 at 9:04
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    @reith you can say "we hung out last Thursday", describing an event that only happened once. This is no different than any other verb that can be used for individual events, ongoing actions (we're hanging out), habitual actions (we hang out often), hypothetical events (would you like to hang out?), etc..
    – The Photon
    Aug 1 at 15:08
  • @ThePhoton thank you!
    – reith
    Aug 1 at 15:56

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