haw

1
[haw]
noun
  1. a sound or pause of hesitation.Compare hem2(def 3).

Origin of haw

1
First recorded in 1625–35; imitative

haw

2
[haw]
interjection
  1. (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)
  1. to turn or make a turn to the left: The horse refused to haw.
Compare gee1.

Origin of haw

2
1835–45, Americanism; apparently orig. the imperative haw! look! of Middle English hawen, Old English hāwian; akin to Latin cavēre to beware
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hawed

Contemporary Examples of hawed

  • Sounding indecisive, Whitman hemmed and hawed about the different kinds of negative ads.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Arnold Swats Whitman

    Joe Mathews

    October 27, 2010

  • According to the complaint, when the actress (i.e. Thurman) questioned Starr, he hemmed and hawed.

    The Daily Beast logo
    How Uma Sniffed Out a Ponzi Scheme

    Jacob Bernstein

    May 27, 2010

Historical Examples of hawed

  • He hemmed and hawed, and finally had to blurt out that he didn't own the place.

    Cape Cod Stories

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • He walked up and down, hummed and hawed, showed every sign of impatience.

    Virgin Soil

    Ivan S. Turgenev

  • I hemmed and hawed and bowed to her back with a growing confusion.

    A Daughter of Raasay

    William MacLeod Raine

  • At first he softened down a little, “hemmed and hawed,” as folks say.

    The Hoosier School-boy

    Edward Eggleston

  • She hummed and hawed and would not say a word about the borough.

    The Prime Minister

    Anthony Trollope


British Dictionary definitions for hawed

haw

1
noun
  1. the round or oval fruit (a pome) of the hawthorn, usually red or yellow, containing one to five seeds
  2. another name for hawthorn

Word Origin for haw

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

haw

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

Word Origin for haw

C17: of imitative origin

haw

3
noun
  1. archaic a yard or close

Word Origin for haw

of unknown origin

haw

4
noun
  1. 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

Word Origin and History for hawed

haw

v.

"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.

haw

n.

"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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with hawed

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.