\ a throat-​clearing sound; often read as ə-ˈhem How to pronounce ahem (audio) \

Definition of ahem

used especially to attract attention or to express disapproval or embarrassment

Examples of ahem in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Tom Steinbach is the guy who keeps the Ocomonomoc River and all its tributaries and lakes clean (ahem, like Lac La Belle and Fowler Lake). Lainey Seyler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Tom Steinbach: 5 things he can't do without," 28 Aug. 2017 And, true to her, ahem, reputation, the 2017 MTV VMAs were no different: Perry wore nine ensembles total, all of which were appropriately OTT and formidable contenders for a spot among the most memorable outfits in the award show's history. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "Every Single One of Katy Perry's VMAs 2017 Outfit Changes," 27 Aug. 2017 Ostriches, by the way, often have sticky fingers, ahem, beaks. Karen D’souza, chicagotribune.com, "Safari West: A free-range zoo adventure in California," 17 Aug. 2017 What an episode for touching (longing?) gazes between potential family members, completely awful plans, ignoring the single most important development of this series thus far (ahem, Sam) and of course, impending doom. Danielle Ohl, baltimoresun.com, "Game of Thrones episode 5 recap: 'The threat is real'," 14 Aug. 2017 Now, nearly half a century later, the program is—ahem—under water by $24.6 billion. Beth Kowitt, Fortune, "Climate Change Is About to Remake the Insurance Industry," 25 July 2017 This explains why the toilet currently sits perfectly upright, as if awaiting the return of, ahem, Captain John. Chris Mcnamara, chicagotribune.com, "A deep dive into Michigan's eerie, beautiful Shipwreck Coast," 18 July 2017 The gloaming setting, the dead girl at the heart of the narrative, the casual use of the gory or grotesque, even the ominous synth theme (ahem, Stranger Things)—these have all become familiar tropes. Rachel Syme, New Republic, "How the New Twin Peaks Made Television Strange Again," 10 July 2017 The team’s closer — Francisco Rodriguez — is in the minors, hoping to get another chance, ahem, with Washington. Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press, "As they sputter to halfway point, Tigers must face facts, trade away pieces," 2 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ahem.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ahem

1603, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ahem


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Statistics for ahem

Cite this Entry

“Ahem.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ahem. Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for ahem

How to pronounce ahem (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ahem

used in writing to represent a sound that is like a quiet cough that people make especially to attract attention or to express disapproval or embarrassment

More from Merriam-Webster on ahem

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ahem

Spanish Central: Translation of ahem

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