hum

verb
\ ˈhəm How to pronounce hum (audio) \
hummed; humming

Definition of hum

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to utter a sound like that of the speech sound \m\ prolonged humming along with the music
b : to make the natural noise of an insect in motion or a similar sound : drone listening to the bees hum in the garden
c : to give forth a low continuous blend of sound the sound of children's voices with which the house was always humming— J. M. Brinnin
2a : to be busily active the museum hummed with visitors
b : to run smoothly the business started to hum

transitive verb

1 : to sing with the lips closed and without uttering speech sounds distinctly hum a tune
2 : to express by making a vocal sound with the lips pressed together : to affect by humming hummed his displeasure

hum

Definition of hum (Entry 2 of 2)

chiefly British spelling of , hem entry 4

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Other Words from hum

Verb

hum noun
hummable \ ˈhə-​mə-​bəl How to pronounce hum (audio) \ adjective

Examples of hum in a Sentence

Verb The garden was humming with bees. The refrigerator hummed in the background. I was humming to myself. We hummed along to the music. I hummed a little song. By noon, the office was really humming. The restaurant hums on weekends.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Yet Michigan's offense, absent Simpson, continues to hum along as the Wolverines reach the quarter mark of their season. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "How is Michigan basketball still rolling without Zavier Simpson? Doing it with depth," 27 Dec. 2020 News out of the Googleplex on Thursday that the search giant has figured out a way to identify songs that people can only hum or whistle for 10 to 15 seconds. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Is Netflix recreating the old broadcast TV network?," 16 Oct. 2020 The massive space had by 9:45 a.m. begun to hum with the sound of conversations. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin recount live: Dane County election officials reject initial attempts to throw out ballots," 20 Nov. 2020 While many parts of the economy have begun to hum again, many small businesses are still struggling and report needing further economic aid and stimulus to survive. Anne Sraders, Fortune, "Nearly 100,000 establishments that temporarily shut down due to the pandemic are now out of business," 28 Sep. 2020 In other words, many parts of the economy continued to hum. Hannah Seligson, Town & Country, "In the Thick of the Pandemic, Nantucket Reveals its Best Self," 3 Nov. 2020 In his plays, though, Hughes often dangled before his audience the opportunity to hum along more earnestly to America’s major-key tune. Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, "Reënacting the Trial of a Black Woman Convicted of Voter Fraud," 2 Nov. 2020 Underwhelming bank earnings and a ho-hum Apple iPhone event didn't help investor sentiment either. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "Investors pull back on vaccine jitters and earnings woes," 14 Oct. 2020 Even if the Bay Area continues to lose brick-and-mortar restaurants, the food scene will hum in different ways. Janelle Bitker, SFChronicle.com, "Some of the Bay Area’s most anticipated restaurants for 2020 are in COVID-19 limbo," 5 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hum.' 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 hum

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for hum

Verb

Middle English hummen; akin to Middle High German hummen to hum, Middle Dutch hommel bumblebee

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Time Traveler for hum

Time Traveler

The first known use of hum was in the 14th century

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Statistics for hum

Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hum. Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for hum

hum

verb
How to pronounce hum (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of hum

: to make a low continuous sound
: to sing the notes of a song while keeping your lips closed
: to be very active or busy

hum

verb
\ ˈhəm How to pronounce hum (audio) \
hummed; humming

Kids Definition of hum

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to utter a sound like a long \m\
2 : to make the buzzing noise of a flying insect
3 : to make musical tones with closed lips
4 : to give forth a low murmur of sounds The street was humming with activity.
5 : to be very busy or active The mall hummed with shoppers.

hum

noun

Kids Definition of hum (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a low continuous noise the hum of bees
2 : musical tones voiced without words

hum

noun
\ ˈhəm How to pronounce hum (audio) \

Medical Definition of hum

: a sound like that made by humming especially : venous hum

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Comments on hum

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