verb (used without object)

to clear the throat audibly in a self-important manner: The professor harrumphed good-naturedly.
to express oneself gruffly.

Origin of harrumph

First recorded in 1935–40; imitative
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for harrumph

Contemporary Examples of harrumph

  • This inverted morality creates maniacs whose antics are referenced with a smile and a wink, not a harrumph.

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    Cavalcade of Bad Boy Flameouts

    Eric Dezenhall

    March 4, 2011

British Dictionary definitions for harrumph



(intr) to clear or make the noise of clearing the throat
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 harrumph

representing the sound of clearing the throat or a disapproving noise, 1918, imitative. Related: Harrumphed; harrumphing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper