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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English

hum

I.verb
COLLOCATIONS FROM OTHER ENTRIES
humming bird
hum/whistle a tune
▪ She was humming a little tune to herself.
the roar/rumble/hum of traffic
▪ The only noise was the distant rumble of traffic on the coastal road.
COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS
■ ADVERB
along
▪ The rest of the production hums along.
▪ The windows of the car were open and they hummed along at a steady cruising speed meeting very little traffic.
▪ Madeline hummed along with the jukebox.
▪ Kylie would spend hours listening to the radio, singing or humming along the latest hits.
▪ While my attentions have been engaged elsewhere, the nifty little device has been quietly humming along.
▪ Tonight, she and Andrew ought to have hummed along, two messages meeting on a wire.
softly
▪ Bridget picked up her sock doll and hummed softly.
▪ Only the power plant hummed softly, the aeration ponds murmuring.
■ NOUN
tune
▪ I found myself humming to the tune of the violin an old man was playing for sous.
▪ He was fifteen minutes humming a hymn tune as he did his toenails.
▪ Hrun hummed a little tune as he began to pull crumbling leather from the desecrated altar.
▪ Limbs and trunks rubbed together and intermingled, humming deep tunes like giant bass fiddles.
▪ And when I hummed old tunes that soothed my baby sister something in them spiked your grief to howling.
▪ The path narrowed, and Maude moved out in front, humming a tune Rob recognized.
▪ No one knew his name, but people hummed his tunes.
▪ She's humming a tune behind her silly smile.
■ VERB
begin
▪ Quietly, under my breath, I began humming Handel.
▪ Subconsciously I remembered then began to hum the Robinson Crusoe theme music.
▪ He began to hum along with the music.
▪ He began to hum a tune, dissociating himself, rolling a cigarette with easy movements.
▪ One of the three khthons began to hum a sorrowful melody.
start
▪ He started to hum through his nose.
EXAMPLES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
▪ Carol hummed along to the song on the radio.
▪ Low interest rates make borrowing easier and keep the economy humming.
▪ Musicals are uplifting, and you are sure to leave the theatre humming a cheerful tune.
▪ Sewing machines hummed on the factory floor.
▪ She hummed softly to herself as she worked.
▪ The computer was still on, humming away.
▪ The refrigerator hummed softly in the corner.
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
Hum of black machinery, humming hate and death and other hospital secrets.
▪ Limbs and trunks rubbed together and intermingled, humming deep tunes like giant bass fiddles.
▪ Quietly, under my breath, I began humming Handel.
▪ The volume of the world was turned up so the air molecules hummed a deep bass note.
▪ The windows of the car were open and they hummed along at a steady cruising speed meeting very little traffic.
II.noun
COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS
■ ADJECTIVE
low
▪ It rises to a low hum again when they see it's only him.
▪ There was a low hum of conversation.
▪ When he walked out the door, the town seemed dim, insubstantial, and filled with an ominous low hum.
▪ With the same amp settings the low hum single coils sing with almost the character of a Gibson P90.
▪ A low business-like hum sounded from inside it.
▪ The only sound is the low hum of the air conditioner.
▪ A cricket joins in, one of the lamps hums a low hum, but what I want to hear is Margaret.
■ VERB
hear
▪ From outside he could hear the muted hum of London's traffic.
▪ They heard a steady hum, which soon melted into a steady silence.
▪ She heard the hum of pleasant voices, and guessed she must be last down.
EXAMPLES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
▪ the hum of the air conditioning
▪ the distant hum of traffic
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ Soft, now what be this hum?
▪ The hum in the air was from pylons; a cold and nervous electrical hum.
▪ The electric light was burning and mixers and other equipment were making a steady hum.
▪ The steady hum of the drilling rigs and the rough growls of heavy machinery moving on the road smear the coastal quiet.
▪ There was a low hum of conversation.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Hum

Hum \Hum\, interj. [Cf. Hem, interj.] Ahem; hem; an inarticulate sound uttered in a pause of speech implying doubt and deliberation.
--Pope.

Hum

Hum \Hum\, v. t.

  1. To sing with shut mouth; to murmur without articulation; to mumble; as, to hum a tune.

  2. To express satisfaction with by humming.

  3. To flatter by approving; to cajole; to impose on; to humbug. [Colloq. & Low]

Hum

Hum \Hum\ (h[u^]m), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Hummed; p. pr. & vb. n. Humming.] [Of imitative origin; cf. G. hummen, D. hommelen. [root]15.]

  1. To make a low, prolonged sound, like that of a bee in flight; to drone; to murmur; to buzz; as, a top hums.
    --P. Fletcher.

    Still humming on, their drowsy course they keep.
    --Pope.

  2. 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.
    --Shak.

  3. [Cf. Hum, interj.] To make an inarticulate sound, like h'm, through the nose in the process of speaking, from embarrassment or a affectation; to hem.

  4. To express satisfaction by a humming noise.

    Here the spectators hummed.
    --Trial of the Regicides.

    Note: Formerly the habit of audiences was to express gratification by humming and displeasure by hissing.

  5. To have the sensation of a humming noise; as, my head hums, -- a pathological condition.

Hum

Hum \Hum\, n.

  1. 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.
    --Shak.

  2. Any inarticulate and buzzing sound; as:

    1. The confused noise of a crowd or of machinery, etc., heard at a distance; as, the hum of industry.

      But 'midst the crowd, the hum, the shock of men.
      --Byron.

    2. A buzz or murmur, as of approbation.
      --Macaulay.

  3. An imposition or hoax.

  4. [Cf. Hem, interj.] 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.
    --Shak.

  5. [Perh. so called because strongly intoxicating.] A kind of strong drink formerly used. [Obs.]
    --Beau. & Fl.

    Venous hum. See under Venous.

Wikipedia

Hum (band)

Hum is an alternative rock band from Champaign, Illinois. They are best known for their 1995 radio hit " Stars". Hum has not been consistently active as a recording or touring group since 2000.

Hum (disambiguation)

Humming is a sound produced with closed lips, or by insects, or other periodic motion.

Hum may also refer to:

Hum (hill)

Hum, high and the most prominent peak of the Laško region, is situated on the Savinja river's left bank. For ages, its foothills have been giving a shelter to the old castle under which thermal water has been pumped from the springs. There is a wide view from Hum on to Laško and its surroundings.

Hum (Bugojno)

Hum is a village in the municipality of Bugojno, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Hum (Pešter)

Hum ( Serbian Cyrillic: Хум) is a mountain on the border of Serbia and Montenegro, between towns of Sjenica and Rožaje, on the eastern edge of Pešter plateau. Its highest peak Krstača has an elevation of 1,756 meters above sea level.

Hum (Niš)

Hum is a village situated in Niš municipality in Serbia.

Hum (film)

Hum (Hindi: हम, English: We/Us) is a 1991 Hindi action crime film directed by Mukul S. Anand. It stars Amitabh Bachchan, Rajnikanth, Govinda, Kimi Katkar, Deepa Sahi, Shilpa Shirodkar, Danny Denzongpa, Anupam Kher and Kader Khan. This was the most successful film for the famous super star, Bachchan in the early '90s before he announced his temporary retirement (for five years) immediately after its release. He also won the Filmfare Best Actor Award for it in 1992. The film ranked second among the top grossers of 1991 at the box office and was declared a blockbuster hit. Mukul S. Anand had considered and discussed a potential scene for this movie with Rajinikanth, where Amitabh Bachchan's character would help Govinda get a seat in the Police Academy. Anand discarded the scene, because he did not find it suitable. But Rajinikanth felt the scene had the potential to develop into a script for a possible feature film, which resulted into 1995 movie Baashha.

Wiktionary

hum

interj. hmm; an inarticulate sound uttered in a pause of speech implying doubt and deliberation. n. 1 A hummed tune, i.e. created orally with lips closed. 2 An often indistinct sound resembling human humming. 3 Busy activity, like the buzz of a beehive. 4 (context UK slang English) unpleasant odour. 5 (context dated English) An imposition or hoax; humbug. 6 (context obsolete English) A kind of strong drink. vb. 1 (context intransitive English) To make a sound from the vocal chords without pronouncing any real words, with one's lips closed. 2 (context transitive English) To express by humming. 3 (context intransitive English) To drone like certain insects naturally do in motion, or sounding similarly 4 (context intransitive English) To buzz, be busily active like a beehive 5 (context intransitive English) To produce low sounds which blend continuously 6 (context British English) To reek, smell bad. 7 (context British English) To deceive, or impose on one by some story or device. 8 (context transitive dated slang English) To flatter by approving; to cajole; to impose on; to humbug.

WordNet

hum

  1. n. 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" [syn: busyness]

  2. 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 [syn: Harkat-ul-Mujahidin, Harkat ul-Ansar, HUA, Harkat ul-Mujahedeen, Al Faran, Movement of Holy Warriors]

  3. a humming noise; "the hum of distant traffic" [syn: humming]

  4. [also: humming, hummed]

hum

  1. v. sing with closed lips; "She hummed a melody"

  2. be noisy with activity; "This office is buzzing with activity" [syn: buzz, seethe]

  3. sound with a monotonous hum [syn: thrum]

  4. make a low continuous sound; "The refrigerator is humming"

  5. [also: humming, hummed]

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

hum

late 14c., hommen "make a murmuring sound to cover embarrassment," later hummen "to buzz, drone" (early 15c.), probably of imitative origin. Sense of "sing with closed lips" is first attested late 15c.; that of "be busy and active" is 1884, perhaps on analogy of a beehive. Related: Hummed; humming. Humming-bird (1630s) so called from sound made by the rapid vibration of its wings.There is a curious bird to see to, called a humming bird, no bigger then a great Beetle. [Thomas Morton, "New English Canaan," 1637]

hum

mid-15c., from hum (v.).

Usage examples of "hum".

He grew smaller and smaller as the gulf between them expanded, his aimless humming fading until he disappeared altogether.

She laughed, and struggled to hum along through her mouthpiece and the constant rush of air the aqualung forced on her.

He is still alive, and somewhere wearily goes up and down the stairs of strange houses, stares somewhere at clean-scoured parquet floors and carefully tended araucarias, sits for days in libraries and nights in taverns, or lying on a hired sofa, listens to the world beneath his window and the hum of human life from which he knows that he is excluded.

All I needed was for Heintz or Arista or Colonel Marquez to show up, humming a Hawaiian melody.

Regular, mechanical, but somehow also a natural hum with the asymphony of bees on the swarm.

He would slump in his chair as Aunty Em threw pots about the stove, spilling, burning, humming hymns to herself.

It was bad enough having someone in the bakery with me some of the time, so I could teach him what to do and keep an eye on him while he did it: humming was pushing it.

His eyes were closed, and he hummed tunelessly in time to the throbbing biofeedback from his ship.

The virusteel deckplating hummed with the distant throb of idling Bussard drives.

The black cloud became a massive shroud of living insects, buzzing and humming in an infernal chorus.

As he rode he thought now and again of Ian, perhaps in Edinburgh according to his word of mouth, but perhaps, despite that word, on board some ship that should place him in the Low Countries, from which he might travel into France and to Paris and that group of Jacobites humming like a byke of bees around a prince, the heir of all the Stewarts.

The drawling voice which answered filled the lobby, ascended to the green skylight far above, moved inexorably outward from the place of utterance to the balcony edges, thrust through the banisters to flow into the aisles of books, soaking each volume in turn so that the very bindings became redolent with that sound, not echoing but vibrating nonetheless in a reverberating hum larger than the building itself, a seeking pressure which left no corner unexplored.

Walking home along the river wall, with the singing of the larks and thrushes, the rush of waters, the humming of the chafers in his ears, he felt that he would make something fine of this subject.

I could see that something similar was happening to my friends and our conversation about happiness and perils of refugee life degenerated into humming silly songs with Chi and not really paying much attention to what was being said.

It is all so fast yet his brain has time to process a number of sensations - the touch of her velvet humming in his fingertips, the scolding bump her hip gave him, his indignation at her clunky shoes and the people who stripped the staircase of its banister, all precisely layered in his mind.