- 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. 2018
Examples from the Web for harrumph
This inverted morality creates maniacs whose antics are referenced with a smile and a wink, not a harrumph.Cavalcade of Bad Boy Flameouts
March 4, 2011
- (intr) to clear or make the noise of clearing the throat
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