• WordNet 3.6
    • v hum sing with closed lips "She hummed a melody"
    • v hum make a low continuous sound "The refrigerator is humming"
    • v hum sound with a monotonous hum
    • v hum be noisy with activity "This office is buzzing with activity"
    • n hum a humming noise "the hum of distant traffic"
    • n HUM an Islamic fundamentalist group in Pakistan that fought the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s; now operates as a terrorist organization primarily in Kashmir and seeks Kashmir's accession by Pakistan
    • n hum the state of being or appearing to be actively engaged in an activity "they manifested all the busyness of a pack of beavers","there is a constant hum of military preparation"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Nest and eggs of ruby-throat humming-bird Nest and eggs of ruby-throat humming-bird

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Houseflies hum in the key of F.
    • Hum A buzz or murmur, as of approbation.
    • Hum A kind of strong drink formerly used.
    • Hum A low monotonous noise, as of bees in flight, of a swiftly revolving top, of a wheel, or the like; a drone; a buzz. "The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums ."
    • interj Hum Ahem; hem; an inarticulate sound uttered in a pause of speech implying doubt and deliberation.
    • Hum An imposition or hoax.
    • Hum An inarticulate nasal sound or murmur, like h'm, uttered by a speaker in pause from embarrassment, affectation, etc. "These shrugs, these hums and ha's."
    • Hum Any inarticulate and buzzing sound
    • Hum The confused noise of a crowd or of machinery, etc., heard at a distance; as, the hum of industry.
    • Hum To express satisfaction by a humming noise. "Here the spectators hummed ."
    • Hum To express satisfaction with by humming.
    • Hum To flatter by approving; to cajole; to impose on; to humbug.
    • Hum To have the sensation of a humming noise; as, my head hums, -- a pathological condition.
    • Hum To make a low, prolonged sound, like that of a bee in flight; to drone; to murmur; to buzz; as, a top hums . "Still humming on, their drowsy course they keep."
    • Hum To make a nasal sound, like that of the letter m prolonged, without opening the mouth, or articulating; to mumble in monotonous undertone; to drone. "The cloudy messenger turns me his back,
      And hums ."
    • Hum To make an inarticulate sound, like h'm, through the nose in the process of speaking, from embarrassment or a affectation; to hem.
    • Hum To sing with shut mouth; to murmur without articulation; to mumble; as, to hum a tune.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Irving Berlin has never learned to read music or to write it. He hums or sings his songs to a secretary, who takes them down in musical notation.
    • hum To make a prolonged droning sound, as a bee in flight; drone; murmur; buzz.
    • hum To give utterance to a similar sound, such as the droning of a tune, a contemptuous or vacant mumbling, a murmuring expression of applause or satisfaction, hesitation, dissent, etc.
    • hum Same as hem.
    • hum To sing with shut mouth, as to the sound m; murmur without articulation; mumble: as, to hum an air.
    • hum To express approbation of, or applaud, by humming.
    • n hum Any inarticulate, low, murmuring, or buzzing sound, as that made by bees in flight, by a spinning top, etc.; a faint continuous sound having no definite pitch; a buzz.
    • n hum Specifically— A low confused noise, as of a crowd, or of distant voices or sounds of any kind.
    • n hum A buzz or murmur of applause or approbation.
    • n hum A sound uttered with closed mouth by a speaker in a pause from embarrassment, affectation, or the like: as, hums and haws. Also (and now more commonly) hem.
    • n hum A drink formerly common, probably made of strong ale or of ale and spirit. Its exact composition is not known.
    • hum An interjectional, hesitating sound, uttered with or during a pause; hem; h'm.
    • hum To trick or delude; impose on; cajole.
    • n hum An imposition or hoax; a humbug.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.i Hum hum to make a buzzing sound like bees: to utter a low, droning sound: to supply an interval in speaking by an audible sound
    • v.t Hum to sing in a low tone: to applaud anything by humming:—pr.p. hum′ming; pa.p. hummed
    • n Hum the noise of bees and some other insects: any low, dull noise
    • interj Hum a sound with a pause implying doubt
    • v.t Hum hum to impose on
    • n Hum an imposition
    • ***


  • Virginia Woolf
    “My own brain is to me the most unaccountable of machinery --always buzzing, humming, soaring roaring diving, and then buried in mud. And why? What's this passion for?”
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
    “Nature is an endless combination and repetition of a very few laws. She hums the old well-known air through innumerable variations.”
  • Robertson Davies
    “Pornography is rather like trying to find out about a Beethoven symphony by having somebody tell you about it and perhaps hum a few bars.”


Humming and harring - If someone is humming and harring,they are unsure about a decision and can't nake their mind up.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Of imitative origin; cf. G. hummen, D. hommelen,. √15


In literature:

The generator began to hum and George observed the output of it and the transmitter as registered by the various meters he had made.
"Space Prison" by Tom Godwin
We heard a low hum, swelling swiftly to a definite cry.
"Nights in London" by Thomas Burke
Jerry's prediction proved to be quite true for as His Highness neared the garage a hum of activity pervaded it.
"Walter and the Wireless" by Sara Ware Bassett
Billie knew that irregular rattling hum, and insensibly quickened her pace.
"The Fifth Ace" by Douglas Grant
In the gloomy woods there are few birds, but where flowers grow there are humming birds, a few parrots and insects, but no reptiles.
"The World's Greatest Books, Volume 19" by Various
The police truck hummed on its way for half a mile; three-quarters.
"The Pirates of Ersatz" by Murray Leinster
I heard you humming it one day.
"The Root of Evil" by Thomas Dixon
As she had hoped, two humming-birds returned.
"The Hour and the Man" by Harriet Martineau
Hum, not immediately, in my conscience not heartily.
"The Comedies of William Congreve Volume 1 [of 2]" by William Congreve
Now, dew make yerself to hum, Mr. Crane: help yerself to things.
"The Wit and Humor of America, Volume IX (of X)" by Various

In poetry:

I hum the sang, the auld, auld sang,
That thrills us to the marrow,
An' as I sing I lie in thocht
Upon the Banks o' Yarrow.
"A Dream Of Yarrow" by Alexander Anderson
Or walking through the streets of gold
In heaven's unclouded light,
His lips recall the song of old
And hum "The sky is bright."
"Our Sweet Singer" by Oliver Wendell Holmes
But if a chord were rent in twain,
Its song would sink to hummings low,
So, quickly string the chord again. . .
"Song Of Natela" by Akaki Tsereteli
And this faint, sweet desire was sure to come
In pauses, when aside
He flung his lyre to listen to the hum
Of summer life. I tried
"In Tempe" by Alexander Anderson
To leafy wild, and city's hum,
The queen of joy, I come, I come;
The little rills no more are dumb;
But hail me, as I come, I come.
"The Song Of May" by James Avis Bartley
Across a naked strait of land
Blown sleet and surge were humming;
But trammelled with the shifting sand,
She heard the monster coming!
"Syrinx" by Henry Kendall

In news:

Atv Bill Gets Riders' Ho-hum .
Huskies, ho-hum , blank Sailors, 4-0.
Ho hum another boring Alabama win.
A jazz Side Man faces irrelevance in Las Vegas Little Theatre's ho-hum season opener.
IPhone 5, Best Thing Since Sliced Bread Or All Rather Ho Hum.
'Big Brother,' 'Got Talent' top ho-hum Thurs.
CBS' "Big Brother" delivered Thursday's highest demo marks while NBC's special Thursday edition of "America's Got Talent" drew the largest crowd for any entertainment program on an otherwise ho-hum night.
Ho hum, another Democratic "shiny object".
Ho hum A year ago, massive earthquake that wasn't.
The world's ending, but it's so ho-hum .
Ho-Hum : Dull And Boring Are Now A Pair.
This Year's BlackBerry World Looking Pretty Ho-Hum .
When Independence day becomes a ho-hum affair, it's a good sign.
Ho-hum , another fantastic finish at Riviera on PGA Tour.
The holiday season is barely underway, and retailers are already expressing a ho-hum attitude towards hiring.

In science:

The deeper data clearly reveal a significant iron L-shell hum p in each spectrum and con firm the corona nature for all of them.
Every BCG with a strong radio AGN has an X-ray cool core: is the cool core - noncool core dichotomy too simple?
We now look at what happens when a primitive ideal is larger than Ic , or in the case of the lemma above, larger than hum i or hdm i.
Primitive ideals of noetherian generalized down-up algebras
In the special case of Lemma 4.6, suppose Ann M ) hum i.
Primitive ideals of noetherian generalized down-up algebras
As above, Ann M contains a homogeneous element x of degree k not in hum i; here we can assume that k < m.
Primitive ideals of noetherian generalized down-up algebras
It remains to show that the ideals Ic , hhi, hH i, hui, hdi, hum i, hdm i are all primitive ideals under the right conditions.
Primitive ideals of noetherian generalized down-up algebras