Hanging is caused when a person is held by a rope around the neck. The Oxford English Dictionary says that hanging in this sense is "specifically to put to death by suspension by the neck". Hanging is often used as a form of execution or suicide.
Differences between long and short drop change
Long drop is when the condemned is dropped from a trapdoor a few feet above the ground and mostly causes the dislocation of the neck, resulting in almost instant death.
Short drop is when the condemned is made to stand on an object, then the object is taken from under them and they die from strangulation.
- Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed. Hanging as method of execution is unknown, as method of suicide from 1325.
- Oxford English Dictionary (2015 update), OUP, Oxford, UK