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: […] 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.
- c. 1622, John Fletcher; Philip Massinger [et al.?], “Beggars Bvsh”, in Comedies and Tragedies […], London: […] Humphrey Robinson, […], and for Humphrey Moseley […], published 1647, OCLC 3083972, (please specify the act number in uppercase Roman numerals, and the scene number in lowercase Roman numerals):
- you do provide me hum enough , And lour to bouse with
- 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.
- (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.
From Proto-Bahnaric *huːm ~ hoːm, from Proto-Mon-Khmer *huum ~ *ʔum. Cognate with Sedang huam, Cua tahoːp, Pacoh houm, Puoc ʔuːm, Nyah Kur hóom. Probably also related to the forms with initial *s-, such as Khasi sum and Hu θúm.
- to bathe
jocular abbreviation of humeur (cfr.)
- (good) mood
- uttering to attract attention, without literal meaning
Expressive onomatopoeia; possible descent in ancient Latin or Frankish interjections.
- 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
- Takács, Gábor (2007) Etymological Dictionary of Egyptian, volume 3, Leiden: Brill, →ISBN, page 201, →ISBN:
- […] 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], […]
From Pashto [script needed] (hum).
hum (discourse, Perso-Arabic spelling ہُم)
- also, as well as
- Liljegren, Henrik; Haider, Naseem (2011) Palula Vocabulary (FLI Language and Culture Series; 7), Islamabad, Pakistan: Forum for Language Initiatives, →ISBN
- Obsolete spelling of
hȗm m (Cyrillic spelling ху̑м)
hum f (Cyrillic spelling хум)
- “hum” in Hrvatski jezični portal