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

Definition of harrumph

intransitive verb

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

transitive verb

: to utter (a comment) disapprovingly

Other Words from harrumph

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 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 Hill harrumphed when umpire Mike Winters declined to award him a strike on a full-count curveball at the top of the zone. Andy Mccullough, latimes.com, 29 May 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of harrumph

1942, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for harrumph


Learn More About harrumph

Time Traveler for harrumph

Time Traveler

The first known use of harrumph was in 1942

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near harrumph




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for harrumph

Cite this Entry

“Harrumph.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/harrumph. Accessed 27 Nov. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for harrumph



English Language Learners Definition of harrumph

: to say (something) in a disapproving or complaining way


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!