a throat-​clearing sound; often read as
ə-ˈhem How to pronounce ahem (audio)
used especially to attract attention or to express disapproval or embarrassment

Examples of ahem in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For those of us who are, ahem, challenged in this area, Mairanz offers the following tips: Add date nights or other plans and self-care time to your schedule just like any other appointment. Melissa Willets, Parents, 20 Mar. 2024 Unlike the company's most popular savings event (ahem, Prime Day), this sale is stacked with deals that all customers — regardless of their Prime subscription status — can jump on. Jennifer Hussein, Allure, 20 Mar. 2024 Sadness is not a problem to be solved, but rather a symptom of the human (*ahem, amphibian) condition. Anna Kaufman, USA TODAY, 23 Feb. 2024 More of a rich and buttery toffee than Park Avenue blonde, Jolie’s glossy new hair color – accentuated by a bouncy blow dry–looked the epitome of health and (ahem) wealth. Lauren Murdoch-Smith, Vogue, 22 Feb. 2024 In some of the major metro areas surveyed—such as, ahem, the home of the repeat Super Bowl champions—two-thirds of small businesses said finding qualified employees was moderately or extremely difficult. Dane Stangler, Forbes, 15 Feb. 2024 Children need to feel that the parent is on their side (not how many of us were raised, ahem). Meghan Leahy, Washington Post, 14 Feb. 2024 And no, this is not censorship; no one prevented Rodgers from speaking his, ahem, mind. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 10 Jan. 2024 As such, the shot lingers and lingers (and lingers) on Keoghan and his, ahem, mounting despair. Ew Staff Published, EW.com, 21 Dec. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ahem.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



First Known Use

1603, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ahem was in 1603

Dictionary Entries Near ahem

Cite this Entry

“Ahem.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ahem. Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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