- to utter a sound representing a hesitation or pause in speech.
- a sound or pause of hesitation.Compare hem2(def 3).
Origin of haw1
- (used as a word of command to a horse or other draft animal, usually directing it to turn to the left.)
- to turn or make a turn to the left: The horse refused to haw.
Origin of haw2
- the fruit of the Old World hawthorn, Crataegus laevigata, or of other species of the same genus.
- the hawthorn.
Origin of haw3
- the thin, protective membrane at the inner corner of the lower eyelid of a horse, dog, etc.; nictitating membrane.
Origin of haw4
Examples from the Web for haw
If I could sum it up in a few choice words, I would, but instead I hem and haw, before stumbling through some rambling rejoinder.Fear And Self-Loathing In Scandinavia: The Fiction Of Karl Ove Knausgaard
May 28, 2014
They back away and hem and haw and leave it to the lower courts to implement their decisions.Supreme Court Outlawed Executing Mentally Retarded, But Texas Does It Anyway
David R. Dow
August 14, 2012
Why do these—these people at the fort hem and haw and hesitate when they speak about him?Warrior Gap
Her back stood up, and her bones they were bare; he, haw, hum!
If you want any more you may sing it yourself; he, haw, hum!
He rested the better for it during the early part of that night in a haw thicket.The Escape of Mr. Trimm
Irvin S. Cobb
I entreated him not to be so severe upon me; and again he said, "Haw haw!"The Christmas Books
William Makepeace Thackeray
- the round or oval fruit (a pome) of the hawthorn, usually red or yellow, containing one to five seeds
- another name for hawthorn
- an inarticulate utterance, as of hesitation, embarrassment, etc; hem
- (intr) to make this sound
- hem and haw or hum and haw See hem 2 (def. 3)
- archaic a yard or close
- the nictitating membrane of a horse or other domestic animal
Word Origin and History for haw
"enclosure," Old English haga "enclosure, hedge," from Proto-Germanic *hag- (cf. Old Norse hagi, Old Saxon hago, German Hag "hedge;" Middle Dutch hage, Dutch haag, as in the city name The Hague). See hag and hedge. Meaning "fruit of the hawthorn bush" (Old English) is perhaps short for *hægberie.
"hesitate in speech," 1580s, imitative. Related: Hawed; hawing. The noun in this sense is from c.1600. Haw-haw "style of affected enunciation" is from 1841, imitative.
Idioms and Phrases with haw
see hem and haw.