\ 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 In the softball world, while sometimes overlooked (ahem, the seedings were a slap to the face), the Pac-12 is a powerhouse and the Sun Devils are among the top Pac-12 teams. Norma Gonzalez, The Salt Lake Tribune, 28 May 2021 Althea says after discovering that Nicky has been, ahem, stalking Henry on social media. Max Gao, Vulture, 28 Apr. 2021 There are online garden blogs (buyer beware!), newspaper garden columns (ahem ...), books and videos. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, 16 Apr. 2021 After all, the species has long been painted as ruthless (ahem, Jaws). Evie Carrick, Travel + Leisure, 10 Apr. 2021 It’s there because the Internal Revenue Service believes thousands of crypto holders have, ahem, forgotten to report capital gains income from selling their electronic assets. Los Angeles Times, 7 Apr. 2021 Anyone who picked against Arkansas (ahem, this writer) is eating their words. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, 22 Mar. 2021 After making their acting debuts on Full House as Michelle Tanner, the fraternal twins went on to become child-acting prodigies, spurring their own wildly successful book and movie franchises (ahem, who didn't love Passport to Paris?). Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, 23 Jan. 2021 Whether it’s drinking a latte before the rest of the household wakes up or locking the door to the bathroom for 10 minutes (ahem, relatable), these easy suggestions go a long way toward reclaiming your sanity. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, 1 Dec. 2020

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

Last Updated

6 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ahem.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ahem. Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for ahem

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


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