"hang out" and "hang around"

Are “hang out” and “hang around” similar?
Are they interchangeable in most situations?
Thank you!

They are similar, and they could even be interchangeable (maybe, at certain times), but no, typically they are not.

I can generalize a little, but it’s better to think of in terms of examples. Generally, I would say to “hang out” generally means to get together or go somewhere for no other purpose than just doing that.


–Two friends hanging out (at home, at the mall, in a park).
–Do you want to hang out tomorrow?
–Or, it may be to kill/pass the time doing something, anything while waiting for something to happen. My flight international flight doesn’t leave for three more hours, so I will go hang out in the lounge, the food court, etc.

For “hanging around,” it tends to be inquisitive or have a negative implication in that there is either nothing else to do or there really SHOULD be something else, but they are not doing it.

–Are you going anywhere tonight? No, I figured I would just hang around the house tonight.
–You better get a job when school is out son, I don’t want you hanging around the house all summer doing nothing!
–Why is that guy hanging around the girl’s locker room all the time?
–Why are you still in your seat? The movie is over. Well, I think I’ll hang around for a bit longer and see who the actor that played the person in the chase scene was.