- [ʔm.ʔmː] with tense voice; also [mˈm̥m] ; also spelling pronunciation IPA(key): /əˈhɛm/
Audio (Southern England) (file) Audio (Southern England) (file) Audio (Southern England) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɛm
- (onomatopoeia) the sound of a quiet cough or of clearing one's throat
- an exclamation or cough to get attention
- Ahem! Could we please get started?
- an exclamation of disapproval or annoyance
- Ahem! In case you didn't notice, I did my share of the work, too.
- an exclamation to indicate sarcasm
- I really (ahem!) liked the chocolate broccoli surprise.
- (exclamation to get attention): See Thesaurus:hey
- (expression of disapproval): See Thesaurus:tut tut
exclamation or cough to get attention
exclamation of disapproval or annoyance
ahem (third-person singular simple present ahems, present participle ahemming, simple past and past participle ahemmed)
- To cough or clear one's throat so as to draw attention.
- 1856, Louise Chandler Moulton, Juno Clifford, page 108:
- He wouldn't have been suspected of crying for the world, but he coughed and ahemmed, and finally turned away without speaking.
- 1858, The Peninsular and Independent Medical Journal, page 153:
- A full inspiration, preparatory to hawking, ahemming, or premeditated careful coughing, would excite an explosion of an unusually violent and persistent cough, hurrying the breath out of the poor victims.