From Middle English hummen (“to hum, buzz, drone, make a murmuring sound to cover embarrassment”); akin to Dutch hommelen (“to bumble, buzz”), dialectal Dutch hommen (“to buzz, hum”), Middle High German hummen (“to hum”), probably ultimately of imitative origin.
hum (plural hums)
- A hummed tune, i.e. created orally with lips closed.
- An often indistinct sound resembling human humming.
- They could hear a hum coming from the kitchen, and found the dishwasher on.
- c. 1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene ii]:
- the shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums
- Busy activity, like the buzz of a beehive.
- (Britain, slang) unpleasant odour.
- (dated) An imposition or hoax; humbug.
- (obsolete) A kind of strong drink.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Beaumont and Fletcher to this entry?)
- A phenomenon, or collection of phenomena, involving widespread reports of a persistent and invasive low-frequency humming, rumbling, or droning noise not audible to all people.
- 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 Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
- (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.
- (transitive) To express by humming.
- to hum a tune
- The team ominously hummed “We shall overcome” as they came back onto the field after the break.
- (intransitive) To drone like certain insects naturally do in motion, or sounding similarly
- (intransitive) To buzz, be busily active like a beehive
- The streets were humming with activity.
- (intransitive) To produce low sounds which blend continuously
- (Britain, slang) To reek, smell bad.
- This room really hums — have you ever tried spring cleaning, mate?
- (transitive, Britain, dated, slang) To flatter by approving; to cajole; to deceive or impose upon; to humbug.
- Synonym of : a noise indicating thought, consideration, &c.
- 1890, Arthur Conan Doyle, The Sign of the Four:
- “'Hum!' said he. 'A fifth share! That is not very tempting.'
“'It would come to fifty thousand apiece,' said I.
- Synonym of : a noise indicating doubt, uncertainty, &c.
jocular abbreviation of humeur (cfr.)
- (good) mood
- uttering to attract attention, without literal meaning
- Church, Clarence; Church, Katherine (1955) Vocabulario castellano-jacalteco, jacalteco-castellano (in Spanish), Guatemala C. A.: Instituto Lingüístico de Verano, pages 45; 23
- Alternative form of
- “hem, (pron.)” in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 12 June 2018.
- Takács, Gábor (2007) Etymological Dictionary of Egyptian, volume 3, Leiden: Brill, →ISBN, 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], […]
- Obsolete spelling of
hȗm m (Cyrillic spelling ху̑м)
hum f (Cyrillic spelling хум)
- “hum” in Hrvatski jezični portal