hum

(redirected from hummed)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.
Related to hummed: hummable

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

hum 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. Primarily heard in UK. How much longer do we have to hear this guy hum and haw? I wish they would get on with the debate.
See also: and, haw, hum

ho-hum

Dull or boring. I heard she got sick of her ho-hum existence and ran off to New York City.

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

hum with activity

Fig. [for a place] to be busy with activity. The kitchen hummed with activity as usual. Our main office was humming with activity during the busy season.
See also: activity, hum

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

hum and haw (or ha)

hesitate; be indecisive. British
The word hum has been used as an inarticulate syllable in hesitant speech since Chaucer; ha appears in a similar role from the early 17th century.
See also: and, haw, hum

ho-hum

(ˈhoˈhəm)
mod. dull; causing yawns of boredom. (Ho-hum is a representation of the sound of a yawn.) Clare played another ho-hum concert at the music hall last night.

hum job

and hummer
n. a sexual act involving holding the penis in the mouth while humming. (see also humdinger.) He asked for a hum job, so she hummed him a lullaby.
See also: hum, job

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 classic literature ?
Until at last they got so jumbled together, in the hurry-skurry, helter-skelter, of the match, that whether the kettle chirped and the Cricket hummed, or the Cricket chirped and the kettle hummed, or they both chirped and both hummed, it would have taken a clearer head than yours or mine to have decided with anything like certainty.
No greater joy was Michael's than to sit by the hour with Steward and sing with him all songs and tunes he sang or hummed.
The man hummed a little song as he worked, and Dorothy tried to listen to it.
He went to the door of the partition wall, raised his hands, and hummed in French, "There was a king in Thule.
As he approached Lord George's door, he cleared his throat and hummed more vigorously.
Then, Mr Brass left off writing entirely, and, with his pen in his hand, hummed his very loudest; shaking his head meanwhile from side to side, like a man whose whole soul was in the music, and smiling in a manner quite seraphic.
she hummed a tune which only double bass player John recognised.
Swedish researchers, hypothesizing that humming would enhance sinus ventilation and increase nasal nitric oxide levels, compared nitric oxide flow in 10 subjects while they hummed and while they took quiet breaths (Am.
Nagy hummed along with what sounded like a curious mixture of a low-pitched drone and a whistling wind.