[ pronounced with a small scraping sound accompanied or followed by a nasal; spelling pronunciation uh-hem, hem ]
See synonyms for ahem on Thesaurus.com
  1. (an utterance similar to the sound of clearing one's throat, used to attract attention, express doubt or a mild warning, etc.)

Words Nearby ahem

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use ahem in a sentence

  • You've got to go on, and the more you agree—ahem—the less you'll disagree, see?

    The Varmint | Owen Johnson
  • Her politics, system of education, customs, and arts will be of—ahem!

    Humour of the North | Lawrence J. Burpee
  • Before I had time to make any remark, however, upon so singular a circumstance, he interrupted me with a second "ahem!"

  • He commenced once more, with an ahem, which gave me a better inkling than frankness of what bothered him.

    Richard Carvel, Complete | Winston Churchill
  • "Well, I'm going to set up with her to-night," said Seffy again, with a huge ahem.

British Dictionary definitions for ahem


/ (əˈhɛm) /

  1. 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