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haw

1
[ haw ]
/ hɔ /
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verb (used without object)
to utter a sound representing a hesitation or pause in speech.
noun
a sound or pause of hesitation.Compare hem2 (def. 3).
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Origin of haw

1
First recorded in 1625–35; imitative

Other definitions for haw (2 of 5)

haw2
[ haw ]
/ hɔ /

interjection
(used as a word of command to a horse or other draft animal, usually directing it to turn to the left.)
verb (used with or without object)
to turn or make a turn to the left: The horse refused to haw.
Compare gee1.

Origin of haw

2
An Americanism dating back to 1835–45; apparently originally the imperative haw! “look!” of Middle English hawen, Old English hāwian “to look, regard”; akin to Latin cavēre “to take precautions, beware”

Other definitions for haw (3 of 5)

haw3
[ haw ]
/ hɔ /

noun
the fruit of the Old World hawthorn, Crataegus laevigata, or of other species of the same genus.
the hawthorn.

Origin of haw

3
First recorded before 1000; Middle English; Old English haga, presumably identical with haga “hedge, fence”; cf. hawthorn

Other definitions for haw (4 of 5)

haw4
[ haw ]
/ hɔ /

noun
the thin, protective membrane at the inner corner of the lower eyelid of a horse, dog, etc.; nictitating membrane.

Origin of haw

4
First recorded in 1515–1525; origin uncertain

Other definitions for haw (5 of 5)

Haw.

abbreviation
Hawaii.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use haw in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for haw (1 of 4)

haw1
/ (hɔː) /

noun
the round or oval fruit (a pome) of the hawthorn, usually red or yellow, containing one to five seeds
another name for hawthorn

Word Origin for haw

Old English haga, identical with haga hedge; related to Old Norse hagi pasture

British Dictionary definitions for haw (2 of 4)

haw2
/ (hɔː) /

noun, interjection
an inarticulate utterance, as of hesitation, embarrassment, etc; hem
verb
(intr) to make this sound
hem and haw or hum and haw See hem 2 (def. 3)

Word Origin for haw

C17: of imitative origin

British Dictionary definitions for haw (3 of 4)

haw3
/ (hɔː) /

noun
archaic a yard or close

Word Origin for haw

of unknown origin

British Dictionary definitions for haw (4 of 4)

haw4
/ (hɔː) /

noun
the nictitating membrane of a horse or other domestic animal

Word Origin for haw

C15: of unknown origin
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with haw

haw

see hem and haw.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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