The edge of a piece of cloth or clothing that has been turned under and sewn.
- Top-stitched hems on denim garments tend to curl up to the outside.
- I sewed the armhole and neckline hems with a scant 1/4" seam; the bottom hem is about l/2".
- It features a left chest patch pocket, a clean front, and a shirttail hem.
verb (hems, hemming, hemmed)[with object] Back to top
1Turn under and sew the edge of (a piece of cloth or clothing).
- Moreover, overlocking seams and hemming garments are not necessary because the fabric doesn't fray.
- Construct the reversible top following the same method as for the jumper - so the lower hemmed edges hang free of each other.
- After measuring and cutting the canopy and headboard panel, narrowly hem the edges or bind them with coordinating binding strips.
2 (hem someone/something in, usually be hemmed in) Surround and restrict the space or movement of: he was hemmed in by the tables
More example sentences
- She tried to shrug, but the close walls hemmed her in, so she just made a face.
- I know that the two guys were hemmed in by record company restrictions, but this is almost completely mainstream stuff.
- Already train operators are hemmed in by high regulatory walls.
Old English, 'the border of a piece of cloth'. The verb senses date from the mid 16th century.
Used in writing to indicate a sound made when coughing or clearing the throat to attract someone’s attention or express hesitation.
- In truth I had slept about 3 hours and breakfast had been a pint of Stella ah hem.
- Still staying off the sugar and to be honest, the proof will come when, eh hem, that other monthly thing arrives.
- Wang apparently forgot to ask about the keys for the machine when he purchased it for the, uh hem, bargain price of $75 off a man in East Harlem.
verb (hems, hemming, hemmed)[no object] archaic Back to top
late 15th century: imitative.
- North American Hesitate; be indecisive: I waste a lot of time hemming and hawing before going into actionMore example sentences
- But even though they were on discount, I hemmed and hawed.
- However, after a few more minutes of hemming and hawing, his curiosity got the better of him and he unfolded the paper.
- After my son hemmed and hawed awhile, my grandson finally spoke up in disgust.