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haw1

[haw] /hɔ/
verb (used without object)
1.
to utter a sound representing a hesitation or pause in speech.
noun
2.
a sound or pause of hesitation.
Compare hem2 (def 3).
Origin of haw1
1625-1635
1625-35; imitative

haw2

[haw] /hɔ/
interjection
1.
(used as a word of command to a horse or other draft animal, usually directing it to turn to the left.)
verb (used with or without object)
2.
to turn or make a turn to the left:
The horse refused to haw.
Compare gee1 .
Origin
1835-45, Americanism; apparently orig. the imperative haw! look! of Middle English hawen, Old English hāwian; akin to Latin cavēre to beware
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for hawed
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • At this Jacob hemmed and hawed and scratched his head, for he did not know about that.

    Pepper & Salt Howard Pyle
  • At first he softened down a little, “hemmed and hawed,” as folks say.

    The Hoosier School-boy Edward Eggleston
  • The Beau made a thousand apologies, hummed, hawed, and drew a card from his pocket.

    The Wits and Beaux of Society Grace & Philip Wharton
  • He hemmed and hawed, and finally had to blurt out that he didn't own the place.

    Cape Cod Stories Joseph C. Lincoln
  • I know'd well enough that warn't what he sent for me for, by the way he humm'd and hawed when he began.

    The Attache Thomas Chandler Haliburton
  • The storekeeper hemmed and hawed and finally said five dollars in gold.

    An Undivided Union Oliver Optic
  • Sir Bernard hummed and hawed, and helped himself reflectively to another devilled anchovy.

    Blood Royal Grant Allen
  • The stranger hummed and hawed and pulled his long beard while he thought.

    In The Days of Giants Abbie Farwell Brown
British Dictionary definitions for hawed

haw1

/hɔː/
noun
1.
the round or oval fruit (a pome) of the hawthorn, usually red or yellow, containing one to five seeds
2.
another name for hawthorn
Word Origin
Old English haga, identical with hagahedge; related to Old Norse hagi pasture

haw2

/hɔː/
noun, interjection
1.
an inarticulate utterance, as of hesitation, embarrassment, etc; hem
verb
2.
(intransitive) to make this sound
3.
hem and haw, hum and haw, See hem2 (sense 3)
Word Origin
C17: of imitative origin

haw3

/hɔː/
noun
1.
(archaic) a yard or close
Word Origin
of unknown origin

haw4

/hɔː/
noun
1.
the nictitating membrane of a horse or other domestic animal
Word Origin
C15: of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hawed

haw

n.

"enclosure," Old English haga "enclosure, hedge," from Proto-Germanic *hag- (cf. Old Norse hagi, Old Saxon hago, German Hag "hedge;" Middle Dutch hage, Dutch haag, as in the city name The Hague). See hag and hedge. Meaning "fruit of the hawthorn bush" (Old English) is perhaps short for *hægberie.

v.

"hesitate in speech," 1580s, imitative. Related: Hawed; hawing. The noun in this sense is from c.1600. Haw-haw "style of affected enunciation" is from 1841, imitative.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with hawed

haw

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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12
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