hem


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deliberate over (someone or something)

To discuss or confer about someone or something. This is a big decision, so I need some more time to deliberate over it with my family, all right?
See also: deliberate, over

hem and haw

To speak in an evasive, vague, roundabout way in order to avoid responding to a question or making a definite statement. The phrase comes from the common filler words often used by habit or when one is deciding what to say. How much longer do we have to hear this guy hem and haw? I wish they would get on with the debate.
See also: and, haw, hem

hem in

1. To surround someone or something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "hem" and "in." The police have hemmed in the burglars so that they can't escape from this area. It's very disappointing that towering manses now completely hem in my little home.
2. To limit what someone or something can do. options. A noun or pronoun can be used between "hem" and "in." The terms of this contract really have me hemmed in—even my lawyer can't see a way out.
See also: hem

fence someone in

to restrict someone in some way. I don't want to fence you in, but you have to get home earlier at night. Don't try to fence me in. I need a lot of freedom. Your last stupid move fenced in the department, making us less effective.
See also: fence

fence something in

to enclose an area within a fence. When they fenced the garden in, they thought the deer wouldn't be able to destroy the flowers. We fenced in the yard to make a safe place for the children.
See also: fence

hem and haw (around)

Inf. to be uncertain about something; to be evasive; to say "ah" and "eh" when speaking—avoiding saying something meaningful. Stop hemming and hawing around. I want an answer. Don't just hem and haw around. Speak up. We want to hear what you think.
See also: and, haw, hem

hem someone or something in

Fig. to trap or enclose someone or something. The large city buildings hem me in. Don't hem in the bird. Let it have a way to escape.
See also: hem

fence in

Also, hem in. Restrict or confine someone, as in He wanted to take on more assignments but was fenced in by his contract, or Their father was old-fashioned and the children were hemmed in by his rules. Both expressions transfer a literal form of enclosure to a figurative one. The first gained currency from a popular song in the style of a cowboy folk song by Cole Porter, "Don't Fence Me In" (1944), in which the cowboy celebrates open land and starry skies. The variant is much older, dating from the late 1500s.
See also: fence

hem and haw

Be hesitant and indecisive; avoid committing oneself, as in When asked about their wedding date, she hemmed and hawed, or The President hemmed and hawed about new Cabinet appointments. This expression imitates the sounds of clearing one's throat. [Late 1700s]
See also: and, haw, hem

hem and haw

BRITISH, AMERICAN or

hum and haw

BRITISH
If you hem and haw or hum and haw, you take a long time to say something because you cannot think of the right words, or because you are not sure what to say. Tim hemmed and hawed, but finally told his boss the truth. My mother hummed and hawed at first, but eventually she sent her agreement. Note: People sometimes use hum and ha with the same meaning. Abu hummed and ha-ed a little.
See also: and, haw, hem

hem in

v.
1. To surround and enclose someone or something: Tall mountains hemmed in the valley. The troops hemmed their enemy in on all sides.
2. To restrict or confine someone or something: Don't hem me in with all these regulations. The police hemmed in the rowdy crowd.
See also: hem

hem and haw

To be hesitant and indecisive; equivocate: "a leader who cannot make up his or her mind, never knows what to do, hems and haws" (Margaret Thatcher).
See also: and, haw, hem

hem and haw

To refuse to give a definite answer. “Hem,” similar in derivation to the interjection “ahem,” meant to hesitate. “Haw” meant much the same sense of being noncommittal. Combine the two, and you have someone who's stalling for time and hoping not to have to respond any further.
See also: and, haw, hem
References in periodicals archive ?
TAKE some of the fear out of showing off your legs with this coral dipped hem top, pounds 12.
NB: Hem is a composite character, and she has the qualifies of many a Bengali girl from a poor family--feisty, subversive, and determined.
Run after run, she puffed farther up the hill, climbed on behind Hem and shrieked with ecstasy as the toboggan flashed down the hill.
Com Hem is one of Sweden's leading suppliers of high-speed broadband, television and fixed-telephony.
In terms of products, the Global HEMS market can be segmented into five: Lighting Controls, Self-monitoring Systems and Services, Programmable Communicating Thermostats, Intelligent HVAC Controllers, and Advance Central Controllers.
Com Hem is a supplier of television, high-speed broadband and fixed-telephony in Sweden.
The HEMS products development industry is projected to witness flourishing period up to 2020 as many niche suppliers of products start to establish stronger presence within communications infrastructure, smart metering, and in-home energy interfaces.
Lot 2: Production and delivery of meals-chill, snacks and food products, from organic farming, for childcare facilities in the city of Hem
Com Hem is a further proof-point of the flexibility and feature richness of the BECS platform.
HEM vendors are seeking to be "the face" of the smart grid by providing consumers with actionable energy consumption information, often derived from smart meters.
Contact point(s): Service de la commande publique de la ville de Hem pour le groupement de commandes constitue entre les CCAS de Hem
Christine Margaret Hemming, wi of Birmingham Yardley MP John Hem ming, was not required to enter a ple during a brief appearance at the city magistrates' court.
Almatis) have reached an agreement under which Almatis will toll produce for HEM certain specialty hydrate flame retardant products previously produced and marketed by Almatis.
Transport performance of people to the city of Hem and its associated institutions: the CCAS of the city of Hem and hearth housing for the elderly.
Using the new TiVo service, Com Hem subscribers will be able to seamlessly search for and discover linear and on demand programming using elegant entertainment guide interfaces that are standardized across TV, computer, tablet and smartphone screens.