hum

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See also: hùm, hũm, and hụm

English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Old English hommen "make a murmuring sound to cover embarrassment," later (medieval English) hummen "to buzz, drone" (c.1420); akin to (medieval and modern) Dutch hommel 'humblebee', medieval German hummen 'to hum', probably ultimately of imitative origin

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

hum (plural hums)

  1. A hummed tune, i.e. created orally with lips closed.
  2. An often indistinct sound resembling human humming.
    They could hear a hum coming from the kitchen, and found the dishwasher on.
    • Shakespeare
      the shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums
  3. Busy activity, like the buzz of a beehive.
  4. (UK, slang) unpleasant odour.
  5. (dated) An imposition or hoax; humbug.
  6. (obsolete) A kind of strong drink.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Beaumont and Fletcher to this entry?)

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Verb[edit]

hum (third-person singular simple present hums, present participle humming, simple past and past participle hummed)

  1. (intransitive) To make a sound from the vocal chords without pronouncing any real words, with one's lips closed.
    We are humming happily along with the music.
  2. (transitive) To express by humming.
    to hum a tune
    The hazers ominously hummed "We shall overcome" while they paddled the unruly pledges
  3. (intransitive) To drone like certain insects naturally do in motion, or sounding similarly
    • 1922, Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room Chapter 2
      A slight gloom fell upon the table. Jacob was helping himself to jam; the postman was talking to Rebecca in the kitchen; there was a bee humming at the yellow flower which nodded at the open window.
  4. (intransitive) To buzz, be busily active like a beehive
    'The streets were humming with activity.
  5. (intransitive) To produce low sounds which blend continuously
  6. (UK) To reek, smell bad.
    This room really hums — have you ever tried spring cleaning, mate?
  7. (UK) To deceive, or impose on one by some story or device.
  8. (transitive, dated, slang) To flatter by approving; to cajole; to impose on; to humbug.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Anagrams[edit]

Interjection[edit]

hum

  1. hmm; an inarticulate sound uttered in a pause of speech implying doubt and deliberation.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Alexander Pope to this entry?)

Dutch[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

jocular abbreviation of humeur (cfr.)

Noun[edit]

hum n (plural hummen, diminutive hummetje n)

  1. (good) mood

Etymology 2[edit]

onomatopoeia

Alternative forms[edit]

Interjection[edit]

hum!

  1. uttering to attract attention, without literal meaning

Ngamo[edit]

Noun[edit]

hùm

  1. water

References[edit]

  • Etymological Dictionary of Egyptian, volume 3: m- (2007, ISBN 9789004164123), page 201:
    [] we should carefully distinguish the following Ch. roots from AA *m-ˀ "water" [GT]:
    (1) Ch. *h-m "water" [GT]: WCh. *hama [Stl.]: AS *ham (Gmy. *hām) [GT 2004, 153] = *am [Stl. 1977] = *ham [Dlg.] = *ham [Stl. 1987]: [] Ngamo hùm [Schuh], []

Portuguese[edit]

Article[edit]

hum m (plural huns, feminine huma, feminine plural humas)

  1. Obsolete spelling of um.

Serbo-Croatian[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Proto-Slavic *chъlmъ.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

hȗm m (Cyrillic spelling ху̑м)

  1. hillock
  2. barrow, tumulus (mound of earth raised over a grave)
Declension[edit]
Synonyms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Unknown provenance.

Noun[edit]

hum f (Cyrillic spelling хум)

  1. (obsolete) arrogance
Synonyms[edit]