a prolonged sound
How to pronounce um (audio)
used to indicate hesitation
well, um, I don't know

Examples of um in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Janssen-Lauret: Someone called, um, Shen wrote a paper about this and said no scheme in logic is more beautiful than that put forward by Dr. Ladd-Franklin. The Lost Women Of Science Initiative, Scientific American, 30 Nov. 2023 Luhrmann collaborated with up-and-coming, um, aboriginal, and First Nation pop artists to incorporate their music as a form of honoring the aboriginal tradition of storytelling through song. Concetta Ciarlo, Vogue, 28 Nov. 2023 That this one has two zones (for reds and whites) is a nice bonus for all my, um, quick turnaround wine. Emily Farris, Bon Appétit, 27 Nov. 2023 Its cast is a healthy mix of sympathetic heroes (the kidney donor, the mother-son duo) and obvious villains (the arrogant bro who compares his competitive streak to, um, Jesus Christ’s). Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 Nov. 2023 Sheer skin tints and lip oils are making room for some richer textures to shine (or, um, not—as the case may be). Elle Turner, Glamour, 20 Nov. 2023 Everyone has different opinions on curses, um, and black magic or dark magic. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, 26 Oct. 2023 Before Lively founded Betty Buzz in 2021, her husband, Ryan Reynolds, already had a gin brand, and Lively synergistically promoted both Aviation Gin and A Simple Favor in this memorable Instagram post, which finds her, in character as Emily, um, dominating a naked man who is holding a martini. Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, 21 Nov. 2023 And, um, pro tip, keep your dish towel away from the flame. The Bon Appétit Staff & Contributors, Bon Appétit, 3 Nov. 2023 See More

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

1672, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of um was in 1672

Dictionary Entries Near um

Cite this Entry

“Um.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


a prolonged
How to pronounce um (audio)
 sound,  əm
used to express hesitation
well, um, I don't know
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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