har·​rumph hə-ˈrəm(p)f How to pronounce harrumph (audio)
harrumphed; harrumphing; harrumphs

intransitive verb

: to clear the throat in a pompous way
: to comment disapprovingly

transitive verb

: to utter (a comment) disapprovingly
harrumph noun

Examples of harrumph in a Sentence

“These charges are absurd,” he harrumphed. They stood around harrumphing about the current state of politics.
Recent Examples on the Web Churchill harrumphs silently in another corner of the garden. Christopher Helman, Forbes, 19 Apr. 2023 That number started dropping in the 1980s and has fallen since, prompting old-timers to harrumph at what slackers these lazy kids are. Washington Post, 28 June 2021 That’s why the person harrumphing new usage quickly becomes the one sounding uneducated. Carolyn Hax, Washington Post, 1 Mar. 2020 Jenkins suggests that this was disingenuous, and that old Charles had reasons for harrumphing away what young Charles may have absorbed in Edinburgh. David Quammen, The New York Review of Books, 8 Apr. 2020 Bobbie Bell is delightful as Scrooge — snarling, bristling and just generally harrumphing with flair. Matthew J. Palm, orlandosentinel.com, 3 Dec. 2019 This also gives me a chance to harrumph at the dad for using his wife as a prop. Carolyn Hax, Detroit Free Press, 27 July 2019 The style was jarringly different, and some old-school critics harrumphed. Neil Genzlinger, BostonGlobe.com, 19 June 2019 By the 1930s the grande dame was already becoming an archetype—the stock character duchess harrumphing through Agatha Christie mysteries and screwball comedies, clinging to a bygone era. Sadie Stein, Town & Country, 20 Sep. 2016

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'harrumph.' 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

1942, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of harrumph was in 1942

Dictionary Entries Near harrumph

Cite this Entry

“Harrumph.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/harrumph. Accessed 18 Jun. 2024.

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