• WordNet 3.6
    • n humming the act of singing with closed lips
    • n humming a humming noise "the hum of distant traffic"
    • ***

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.
    • n Humming A sound like that made by bees; a low, murmuring sound; a hum.
    • a Humming Emitting a murmuring sound; droning; murmuring; buzzing.
    • ***
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.
    • n humming A sound like that made by bees; a low murmuring sound.
    • humming Resounding with hums.
    • humming Such as to bubble or froth much, or as to cause a humming in the head: applied to strong malt liquors.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Humming hum′ing a low, murmuring sound, like that made by bees
    • ***


  • 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.


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary


In literature:

We could hear it faintly humming.
"Wandl the Invader" by Raymond King Cummings
The blade shot between the child's head and the kitten and hummed gently, quivering in the wood.
"The Best Short Stories of 1917" by Various
In breeding-time snipes play over the moors, piping and humming; they always hum as they are descending.
"The Natural History of Selborne, Vol. 1" by Gilbert White
Listen to his whirring wings, like the hum of a great bee.
"The Boy Hunters" by Captain Mayne Reid
As he advanced, the humming grew louder and presently a small fury darted out at him.
"Black Bruin" by Clarence Hawkes
He observed that he found different species of humming-birds in different localities.
"The Young Llanero" by W.H.G. Kingston
She hummed softly, waiting.
"Legacy" by James H Schmitz
I stood still, planning certain things and humming softly to myself.
"The Dawn of Reason" by James Weir
It whirred and hummed in his hand.
"Tarrano the Conqueror" by Raymond King Cummings
A light flashed and a buzzer hummed gently but insistently.
"Planet of the Damned" by Harry Harrison

In poetry:

These mingle with the wind's free song,
The hum of bees, the notes of birds,
And make an anthem sweet and strong
Of inarticulate words.
"The Old Church on the Hill" by Kate Seymour Maclean
Swift gleams across its petals run
With winds that hum a pleasant tune,
Serene surprises of the sun,
And whispers from the lips of noon.
"Moss on a Wall" by Henry Kendall
"A summer day when paradise
Lay near to earth as near could be,
When all the hills were red with fire,
And heather humming with the bee."
"A Sound Is In My Ear To-Day" by Alexander Anderson
The wandering breaths of cattle come
Towards his fastness, and the hum
From paper homes of wasps, and cries
Of bees in their refectories.
"The Watcher" by Mary Webb
The miller dreams not at what cost
The quivering millstones hum and whirl,
Nor how for every turn are tost
Armfuls of diamond and of pearl.
"Beaver Brook" by James Russell Lowell
Just ere the rising sunbeams play,
From glorious orb, of rosy red,
There is no sound of life, no hum,
And but, seemingly, all things are dead.
"A Sabbath Morning In The Country" by Thomas Frederick Young

In news:

A cream-filled Twinkie defense and a ho-hum Ho-Hos offense does not produce a Ding-Donging of the Victory Bell.
In essence, Coker 's disciplinary system worked to keep the team humming along in its first year of reclassification to the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Fast and furious action is now ensuing in an otherwise ho-hum game.
CRP will pay for priority sites Soon the hum of harvest equipment will be hanging in the air.
A sonorous hum permeates the air as you examine Da Vinci 's sketches of birds in flight, hydraulic components and plans for cathedral steeples.
Christmas décor ho, ho, hum.
A new video from Australia is preaching the virtues of train safety while offering you a song you can hum to and from the station.
If you find yourself humming this beloved song this week, you will not be alone.
UN climate summit a ho-hum affair for the press.
The United Nations climate-change summit that began in Doha , Qatar, on Monday has so far been a ho-hum affair for the press.
'Snow White' offers fairly ho hum tale.
Fresh from the digital fields and humming with plant life, LeafSnap is a new mobile app that can identify a tree's species by looking at a photograph of the leaf.
So, the holidays are getting a little ho-hum.
Last week, I discussed the ho-hum reception the specification-obsessed media gave to Apple's unveiling of the iPhone 5.
Rehab 2012 band kept telethon tunes humming Saturday night.

In science:

But I would expect that —confronted with a simple and successful model— most scientists would, at least, say: Hum! and ask good questions.
Optical and X-ray Afterglows in the Cannonball Model of GRBs
Basic facts concerning root systems can be found in the standard references [Bou, Hum] and also in [Bro, Hil].
Abelian ideals in a Borel subalgebra of a complex simple Lie algebra
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?
The cold and high altitude pose difficulties for hum ans, but have relatively simple engineering solutions for the operation of facilities.
Astronomy in Antarctica
For affine Weyl groups we use the references [Hum, Kac].
The shape of a random affine Weyl group element, and random core partitions