v. hummed, hum·ming, hums
a. To emit a continuous low droning sound like that of the speech sound (m) when prolonged.
b. To emit the continuous droning sound of a bee on the wing; buzz.
c. To give forth a low continuous drone blended of many sounds: The avenue hummed with traffic.
2. To be in a state of busy activity.
3. To produce a tune without opening the lips or forming words.
1. To sing (a tune) without opening the lips or forming words.
2. Baseball To throw or pitch (a ball) very fast.
1. The sound produced by humming.
2. The act of humming.
Used to indicate hesitation, surprise, or displeasure.
[Middle English hummen, of imitative origin.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.