See also: Hum, húm, hùm, hũm, and HUM

English

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Etymology

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From Middle English hummen (to hum, buzz, drone, make a murmuring sound to cover embarrassment); akin to Dutch hommelen (to bumble, buzz), dialectal Dutch hommen (to buzz, hum), Middle High German hummen (to hum), probably ultimately of imitative origin.

Pronunciation

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  • IPA(key): /ˈhʌm/
  • Audio (US):(file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌm

Noun

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hum (plural hums)

  1. A hummed tune, i.e. created orally with lips closed.
  2. An often indistinct sound resembling human humming.
    They could hear a hum coming from the kitchen, and found the dishwasher on.
  3. Busy activity, like the buzz of a beehive.
  4. (UK, slang) Unpleasant odour.
  5. (dated) An imposition or hoax; humbug.
  6. (obsolete) A kind of strong drink.
  7. (with article) A phenomenon, or collection of phenomena, involving widespread reports of a persistent and invasive low-frequency humming, rumbling, or droning noise not audible to all people.
    • 2011 June 13, “Who, What, Why: Why is 'the hum' such a mystery?”, in BBC News[1]:
      There is a range of theories from farm or factory machinery to conspiracy theories such as flying saucers. And yet, "the hum" remains an unsolved case.

Derived terms

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Translations

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See also

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  The Hum on Wikipedia.Wikipedia

Verb

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hum (third-person singular simple present hums, present participle humming, simple past and past participle hummed)

  1. (intransitive) To make a sound from the vocal chords without pronouncing any real words, with one's lips closed.
    We are humming happily along with the music.
  2. (transitive) To express by humming.
    to hum a tune
    The team hummed “We Shall Overcome” as they came back onto the field after the break.
  3. (intransitive) To drone like certain insects naturally do in motion, or sounding similarly.
    • 1769, Firishta, translated by Alexander Dow, Tales translated from the Persian of Inatulla of Delhi, volume I, Dublin: P. and W. Wilson et al., page iv:
      The leaves of the foreſt were loaded with manna, pure amber dropped from every bough, honey diſtilled from the rifted rock, and the humming bee, drunk with joy, ſtrayed from flower to flower, forgetful of his burſting cells.
    • 1922 October 26, Virginia Woolf, chapter 2, in Jacob’s Room, Richmond, London: [] Leonard & Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth Press, →OCLC; republished London: The Hogarth Press, 1960, →OCLC:
      A slight gloom fell upon the table. Jacob was helping himself to jam; the postman was talking to Rebecca in the kitchen; there was a bee humming at the yellow flower which nodded at the open window.
  4. (intransitive) To buzz, be busily active like a beehive
    The streets were humming with activity.
  5. (intransitive) To produce low sounds which blend continuously
  6. (British, slang) To reek, smell bad.
    This room really hums — have you ever tried spring cleaning, mate?
  7. (transitive, UK, dated, slang) To flatter by approving; to cajole; to deceive or impose upon; to humbug.

Synonyms

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Derived terms

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Translations

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Interjection

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hum

  1. Synonym of hmm: a noise indicating thought, consideration, &c.
  2. Synonym of um: a noise indicating doubt, uncertainty, &c.

Derived terms

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See also

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etymologically unrelated terms containing "hum"

Anagrams

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Akan

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Pronunciation

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  • Tone: M

Predicate

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hum

  1. An identity for a "nom-int-txt" code: a wilde wish.
    hum ɔkɔ - a life cycle

Albanian

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Etymology

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Unknown. Maybe from Proto-Indo-European *skew- (to cover, conceal).

Noun

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hum m (plural humi, definite huma)

  1. rough sea

Bahnar

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Alternative forms

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Etymology

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From Proto-Bahnaric *huːm ~ hoːm, from Proto-Mon-Khmer *huum ~ *ʔum. Cognate with Sedang huam, Cua tahoːp, Pacoh houm, Puoc ʔuːm, Nyah Kur hóom. Probably also related to the forms with initial *s-, such as Khasi sum and Hu θúm.

Pronunciation

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Verb

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hum 

  1. to bathe

Dutch

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Etymology 1

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jocular abbreviation of humeur (cfr.)

Noun

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hum n (plural hummen, diminutive hummetje n)

  1. (good) mood

Etymology 2

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Onomatopoeia

Alternative forms

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Interjection

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hum!

  1. uttering to attract attention, without literal meaning

French

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Etymology

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Expressive onomatopoeia; possible descent in ancient Latin or Frankish interjections.

Pronunciation

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Interjection

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hum

  1. (onomatopeia, colloquial) um..., hm

Further reading

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Jakaltek

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Etymology

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From Proto-Mayan *huuʼng.

Noun

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hum

  1. paper

References

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  • Church, Clarence, Church, Katherine (1955) Vocabulario castellano-jacalteco, jacalteco-castellano[2] (in Spanish), Guatemala C. A.: Instituto Lingüístico de Verano, page 45; 23

Middle English

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Pronoun

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hum

  1. Alternative form of hem (them)

Ngamo

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Noun

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hùm

  1. water

References

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  • Takács, Gábor (2007) Etymological Dictionary of Egyptian, volume 3, Leiden: Brill, →ISBN, page 201, →ISBN:
    [] we should carefully distinguish the following Ch. roots from AA *m-ˀ "water" [GT]:
    (1) Ch. *h-m "water" [GT]: WCh. *hama [Stl.]: AS *ham (Gmy. *hām) [GT 2004, 153] = *am [Stl. 1977] = *ham [Dlg.] = *ham [Stl. 1987]: [] Ngamo hùm [Schuh], []

Phalura

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Etymology

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From Pashto [script needed] (hum).

Pronunciation

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Particle

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hum (discourse, Perso-Arabic spelling ہُم)

  1. also, as well as

References

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  • Liljegren, Henrik, Haider, Naseem (2011) Palula Vocabulary (FLI Language and Culture Series; 7)‎[3], Islamabad, Pakistan: Forum for Language Initiatives, →ISBN

Portuguese

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Pronunciation

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Numeral

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hum m (feminine huma)

  1. Archaic spelling of um.

Usage notes

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In Brazil, this spelling is still seen in finance-related slips such as lottery tickets, cheques and receipts, in order to prevent fraud.

Article

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hum m (plural huns, feminine huma, feminine plural humas)

  1. Obsolete spelling of um.

Interjection

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hum

  1. hmm

Serbo-Croatian

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Etymology 1

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Inherited from Proto-Slavic *xъlmъ.

Pronunciation

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Noun

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hȗm m (Cyrillic spelling ху̑м)

  1. hillock
  2. barrow, tumulus (mound of earth raised over a grave)
Declension
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Synonyms
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Etymology 2

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Unknown.

Noun

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hum f (Cyrillic spelling хум)

  1. (obsolete) arrogance
    Synonym: ȍholōst

References

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  • hum” in Hrvatski jezični portal