hmm

interjection \ ˈᵊm , ˈhᵊm , often with a prolonged syllabic m \
variants: or less commonly hm or hmmm
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of hmm

1 used to express the action or process of thinking
  • Let's get one question out of the way immediately … : does Spike Lee like to cause trouble? "Hmm," he says, sighing. "Yeah, I guess you could call me an instigator."
  • —Patrick Demarchelier
  • As an undergraduate, I settled on history, and diplomatic history, because I had a really cool professor. I was thinking, Hmmm, I wonder how you get to be a diplomat?
  • —Julia Wilkinson
2 used to emphasize that one has asked a question and is awaiting an answer
  • But tell Santa the truth now, what's the most important part to a little boy or girl? The box? The wrapping paper? Or the game that comes in the box? Hmmm? It's the present, of course.
  • —Mark Newman
3 used to request repetition or clarification of something just said
  • "So tell me," I said. "To what do I owe the pleasure?" "Hmm?" "What brings you here?"
  • —David Housewright

First Known Use of hmm

1854


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