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 hummable (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

Shops that once boarded their windows every Saturday, bracing for yellow-vest riots, are humming again. Noemie Bisserbe, WSJ, "French Protesters Hang Up Their Yellow Vests," 16 June 2019 Like the brain, the immune system hums along at great metabolic cost, but largely in the service of keeping us healthy in the future. William Von Hippel, Discover Magazine, "Why Natural Selection Means We'll Never Be Happy," 20 Feb. 2019 The bakery hums back to life, and Kurokawa and her crew hurry through the long lists of tasks—prepping focaccia dough, cutting out butter cookies, readying themselves for the usual 3 p.m. onslaught, cleaning up for the weekend ahead. Elyse Inamine, Bon Appetit, "The Mysterious World of Burrow, a Japanese Bakery Hiding In an Office Lobby," 13 June 2018 The space hums with an up-all-night youthful energy (no doubt aided by copious amounts of sugar and caffeine), and the coffee jelly in particular is a textural delight. Jordan Michelman, latimes.com, "What’s brewing in Chinatown: a microguide to four unique coffee bars," 21 June 2019 Initially hired by Novatek, he was given free range to photograph the plant, which during construction hummed with some 30,000 workers. National Geographic, "See Russia’s massive new gas plant on the Arctic coast," 22 Mar. 2019 The Agnes Scott students correctly hummed the themes of five works of classical music, then Princeton answered a question on geology. Matt Schudel, Washington Post, "Robert Earle, host of popular TV quiz show ‘General Electric College Bowl,’ dies at 93," 9 June 2019 Inside, the 120-year-old house is humming as diners enjoy chicken salad, spinach quiche, strawberry crepes, hormone-free burgers and the café's famous tomato pie. Bob Carlton | Bcarlton@al.com, al.com, "The story behind Mentone’s Wildflower Cafe and the woman who keeps it funky," 7 June 2019 The economy was humming, but job growth was choppy, and wage gains anemic. John D. Stoll, WSJ, "Factories Tire of Wage Wars; Give Fridays Off, Spiff Up Bathrooms," 10 May 2019

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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Learn More about hum

Dictionary Entries near hum

Hulse

hulsite

hulver

hum

Huma

Humacao

Humala (Tasso)

Statistics for hum

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hum

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

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More Definitions for hum

hum

verb

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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More from Merriam-Webster on hum

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hum

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hum

Spanish Central: Translation of hum

Nglish: Translation of hum for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hum for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hum

Comments on hum

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