- 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
Examples from the Web for hawing
After some hemming and hawing, Yusaf finally replied with, “Why do you have to insult the Prophet?”Nine Things You Didn’t Know About Jon Stewart
July 6, 2014
After much hemming and hawing—because everything moves slowly in the palace—they said yes.Can You Paint Like Johannes Vermeer, Too?
December 6, 2013
After much hemming and hawing, he finally settled on a single word to describe the finale: "victorious."'Breaking Bad' Creator Vince Gilligan Reveals the Finale Will Be "Victorious"
April 30, 2013
After 500 pages of hemming and hawing by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Roethlisberger was never criminally charged.The NFL's Silly Redemption Debate
January 26, 2011
“It was the only part of the script I was hemming and hawing over whether to use the language from the comic book,” Vaughn said.Hollywood Busts a Taboo
April 14, 2010
She knew the humming and hawing gentleman—had heard him often before.The Coryston Family
Mrs. Humphry Ward
Humming and hawing are ludicrous embellishments to a discourse.The Comic English Grammar
Whereupon the three were silent, save for a trifle of hemming and hawing.The Open Boat and Other Stories
Old Mac has got the shoot direct; no humming and hawing, but 'Out you go!'The Call of the Town
John Alexander Hammerton
And after looking about him and humming and hawing, 'Won't you sit?'The Castle Inn
Stanley John Weyman
- 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 hawing
"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.
"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.
Idioms and Phrases with hawing
see hem and haw.