There are 2 definitions of hum in English:

hum1

Line breaks: hum
Pronunciation: /hʌm
 
/

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, whir, throb, vibrate, murmur, buzz, thrum, drone
    literary susurrate, bombinate
  • 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.
  • 2 informal Be in a state of great activity: the house was humming with preparations for the dance
    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 bustling, be a hive of activity, throb, vibrate, pulsate, pulse
  • 3British 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.
    Synonyms
    smell, stink, stink to high heaven, reek, have a bad smell, be malodorous
    British informal pong

noun

[in singular] Back to top  

Phrases

hum and haw (or chiefly North American hem and haw)

British Be indecisive: I was humming and hawing over buying copies
More example sentences
  • There's been a bunch of legal experts wheeled on to hum and haw about this - perhaps it's good for Michael, because they'd know that kids lie.
  • But when I ask his closest advisers whether the Prime Minister has been persuaded of this, they hum and haw.
  • We, as girls, will hem and haw and analyze every letter of what we say to that ‘chosen ‘guy, and worry about how we're coming off, and just worry in general.
Synonyms
be indecisive, hesitate, dither, vacillate, procrastinate, equivocate, prevaricate, waver, falter, fluctuate; British haver; Scottish swither
archaic or • literary tarry

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 skosh
Pronunciation: skōSH
noun
a small amount; a little

There are 2 definitions of hum in English:

hum2

Line breaks: hum
Pronunciation: /hʌm
 
, h(ə)m
 
/

exclamation

  • Used to express hesitation or dissent: ‘Ah, hum, Elsie, isn’t it?’ ‘Hum. How long did you invite her for?’
    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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