There are 2 definitions of hum in English:

hum1

Syllabification: hum
Pronunciation: /həm
 
/

verb (hums, humming, hummed)

[no object]
  • 1Make a low, steady continuous sound like that of a bee: the computers hummed
    More example sentences
    • A solid wooden floor supports an enormous desk and the latest model PC computer hums quietly, awaiting instruction.
    • Steve Gigl has what it takes to keep our computers humming here at Blogger General.
    • Chizuru ended up staring straight at the ceiling of her room, the gentle purr of the air-conditioner humming inside her ears.
    Synonyms
    purr, drone, murmur, buzz, thrum, whine, whir, throb, vibrate, rumble
  • 1.1Sing with closed lips: he hummed softly to himself [with object]: she was humming a cheerful tune
    More example sentences
    • Observe that would normally be followed up by the speaker actually humming or singing the tune in question.
    • After a while he stopped humming and began to sing to himself softly.
    • All she heard was a strangely familiar tune, softly hummed in time with the steps.
    Synonyms
    sing, croon, murmur, drone
  • 1.2(Of a place) be filled with a low, steady continuous sound: the room hummed with an expectant murmur
    More example sentences
    • The place hummed with a much smaller project as Graham buzzed away happily in his workshop making mouldings for the window repair job.
    • The huge place fairly hummed with magical energy, for which he was vastly grateful.
    • The room fairly hummed with productivity, and it echoed in Jonathan's step.
  • 1.3 informal Be in a state of great activity: the repair shops are humming as the tradesmen set about their various tasks
    More example sentences
    • Three hundred marshalling yards, 2,300 goods sheds and 700 repair depots keep humming with activity all the time.
    • A textile factory in Sri Lanka hums with activity.
    • The headquarters was air conditioned, crowded and humming with activity from early morning until late at night.
    Synonyms
    be busy, be active, be lively, buzz, bustle, be a hive of activity, throb, pulsate
    informal be happening
  • 2British informal Smell unpleasant: when the wind drops this stuff really hums
    More example sentences
    • She had unwillingly become immune to the humming stench.
    • One of the staff turned up & was humming; I couldn't have him putting customers off their beer, seeing as I was in charge, so I had no choice but to tell him.

noun

[in singular] Back to top  
  • 1A low, steady, continuous sound: the hum of insects a low hum of conversation
    More example sentences
    • I could hear the sound of cars in the distance (you know, the low hum of continuous traffic), so I walked towards it.
    • The steady hum of conversation flowed from inside of the cabin.
    • The only sound was the low hum of the lights, everything was quiet.
    Synonyms
  • 1.1An unwanted low-frequency noise in an amplifier caused by variation of electric current, especially the alternating frequency of the power lines.
    More example sentences
    • We did a very extensive mapping of the different primary frequencies of the hum and then its harmonics.
    • The only adjustments he makes are to apply De-Hiss filtering and remove low frequency hum.
    • Stereos don't make any noise, except a very slight electrical hum.

Derivatives

hummable

adjective
More example sentences
  • ‘They are all hummable songs,’ Mann explained, ‘but actually learning them is a bit difficult, especially once you have to be dancing and singing at the same time.’
  • The arias selected are eminently familiar and hummable - from Aida, Nabucco, Otello, Rigoletto and Il Trovatore among others - and everyone enjoys themselves hugely.
  • They are forgettable not because they are boring, but because the chorus always hits with such a wave of hummable, nostalgic melody that it overpowers them, every time.

hummer

noun
More example sentences
  • Singer-songwriters, sensitive poets, hummers and strummers, whatever you call them, they are the backbone of any folk festival.
  • Demanding, but charming, the hummers would not be denied.
  • The giddy rush of buying a hummer of an album makes me happy.

Origin

late Middle English: imitative.

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Word of the day tortie
Pronunciation: ˈtôrtē
noun
a tortoiseshell cat

There are 2 definitions of hum in English:

hum2

Syllabification: hum
Pronunciation: /
 
həm/

exclamation

  • Used to express hesitation or dissent: “Ah, hum, Elaine, isn’t it?”
    More example sentences
    • Hum, wonder who emailed overnight?
    • Hum, wonder if they'll hire an NYC based firm?

Origin

mid 16th century: imitative; related to the verb hum1.

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