[ huh-ruhmf ]
/ həˈrʌmf /

verb (used without object)

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

Nearby words

  1. harrogate,
  2. harrovian,
  3. harrow,
  4. harrowing,
  5. harrowingly,
  6. harry,
  7. harry potter,
  8. harsh,
  9. harshen,
  10. harshly

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 harrumphed

  • “The most dangerous men are those who are in charge of war,” he harrumphed.

    What Does Julian Assange Want?|Tunku Varadarajan|July 28, 2010|DAILY BEAST
  • The Phoenix harrumphed several times in its throat and shuffled its feet.

    David and the Phoenix|Edward Ormondroyd
  • She harrumphed a bit, as suspicious as she usually is, and I went to the stove for more coffee.

    Cue for Quiet|Thomas L. Sherred

British Dictionary definitions for harrumphed


/ (həˈrʌmf) /


(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 harrumphed


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper