The dictionary says

hang up phrasal verb

1 to finish a telephone conversation

I said goodbye and hung up.


Don’t hang up on me.

Does "hang up on somebody" imply the conversation has not finished yet?

Normally, "we hang up the phone" after we say goodbye to the person we talk on the phone.

Does "she hung up on me" mean she hung up the phone before the conversation finished maybe she got upset with me or maybe her phone reception was bad so she pressed the "End Call" button or some other reasons?

2 Answers 2


"Hung up on me" implies the other person deliberately ended the call prematurely, usually without saying goodbye. It goes beyond saying simply "hung up" which would ordinarily take place at the end of a call.

So, yes, if someone has "hung up on" the speaker, it means the speaker, at least, feels the conversation was not yet finished.

Note that the expression "hung up on" does not apply to situations where the call was dropped due to other (involuntary) causes, such as loss of battery power, loss of signal, etc.

  • It refers, of course, to the old style of telephone where you ended the call by putting down the receiver, or 'hanging it up' on a wall-mounted phone. Feb 14, 2023 at 9:27
  • @KateBunting Naturally. And we still say "dial the number" from the days when the phone had a dial that was rotated around for each number and then transmitted the equivalent number of clicks back to the operation center where they would put the call through. Once made common, the language tends to stick, even after the technology has evolved away from the original forms.
    – Biblasia
    Feb 14, 2023 at 9:33
  • The comment was for Tom's benefit. He asked an earlier question about "pick up the phone". Feb 14, 2023 at 9:40
  • @KateBunting I see. Thank you for the clarification, as I did wonder as to the reason for the comment.
    – Biblasia
    Feb 14, 2023 at 9:43

Collins Dictionary...

hang up - phrasal verb
If you hang up or you hang up the phone, you end a phone call. If you hang up on someone you are speaking to on the phone, you end the phone call suddenly and unexpectedly.
Mum hung up the phone.
Don't hang up!
He said he'd call again, and hung up on me.

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