[pronounced with a small scraping sound accompanied or followed by a nasal; spelling pronunciation uh-hem, hem]


(an utterance similar to the sound of clearing one's throat, used to attract attention, express doubt or a mild warning, etc.)

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ahem

Contemporary Examples of ahem

Historical Examples of ahem

British Dictionary definitions for ahem



a clearing of the throat, used to attract attention, express doubt, etc
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

Word Origin and History for ahem

attention-getting interjection, 1763, lengthened from hem, imitative of clearing the throat.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper