- An imitation of laughter, often used to express scorn or disbelief. Often doubled or tripled (haw haw or haw haw haw).
- You think that song was good? Haw!
- An intermission or hesitation of speech, with a sound somewhat like "haw"; the sound so made.
- Hums or haws.
- (an imitation of laughter): In the US, the spelling haw is rare, with ha being more common.
- To stop, in speaking, with a sound like haw; to speak with interruption and hesitation.
Middle English hawe, from Old English haga (“enclosure, hedge”), from Proto-Germanic *hagô (compare West Frisian haach, Dutch haag, German Hag (“hedged farmland”)), from Proto-Indo-European *kaghon (compare Welsh cae (“hedge”), Latin caulae (“sheepfold, enclosure”), cohum (“strap between plowbeam and yoke”), Russian кош (koš, “tent”), коша́ра (košára, “sheepfold”), Sanskrit कक्ष (kakṣa, “curtain wall”)), from *kaghe/o 'to catch, grasp' (compare Welsh cau (“to clasp”), Oscan kahad (“may he seize”), Albanian kam, ke (“to have, hold”)).
haw (plural haws)
- An instruction for a horse or other animal to turn towards the driver, typically left.
- (of an animal) To turn towards the driver, typically to the left.
- This horse won't haw when I tell him to.
- To cause (an animal) to turn left.
- You may have to go to the front of the pack and physically haw the lead dog.
haw (plural haws)
- (anatomy) The third eyelid, or nictitating membrane.
Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for haw in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)