verb (used with object), hemmed, hem·ming.
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Origin of hem1
Definition for hem (2 of 3)
verb (used without object), hemmed, hem·ming.
Origin of hem2
Definition for hem (3 of 3)
WORDS THAT USE HEM-
What does hem- mean?
Hem- comes from the Greek haîma, meaning “blood.”
Hem- is a variant of hemo-, which loses its -o– when combined with words or word elements beginning with vowels. The spelling haem- is chiefly used in British English.
Want to know more? Read our Words That Use hemo- article.
As with haem-, all of these combining forms are often spelled with an additional a in British English, as in haemo-, haema-, haemato-, and haemat-. Historically, these forms have been spelled with a ligature of the a and e, as in hæm-.
You can learn all about the specific applications for each of these forms at our Words That Use articles for them.
Examples of hem-
One medical term that features the combining form hem- is hemagogue, “an agent that promotes the flow of blood.”
The first part of the word, hem-, means “blood.” The second part of the word, -agogue, is a combining form that means “leader, bringer.” It is used in medical terms to denote substances inducing expulsion or secretion. Hemagogue literally translates to “bringer of blood.”
What are some words that use the combining form hem-?
What are some other forms that hem- may be commonly confused with?
Hem- is not to be confused with hem, a bottom edge of a piece of clothing or sound of clearing the throat, among other senses. And outside medicine, most words that begin with the exact letters hem- are not using it as a combining form to refer to blood, e.g., hemp.
Example sentences from the Web for hem
It has been called the “golden hem of Windsor”: whatever George or Kate wears instantly sells out.Happy Birthday, Prince George! Will the Wee Royal Be the First King of the 22nd Century?|Emma Woolf|July 21, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Such products are not suited for the rigours of public life, and need to be adapted, at the very least by sewing in hem weights.Kate Middleton's History of Flesh-Flashing Wardrobe Malfunctions|Tom Sykes|May 29, 2014|DAILY BEAST
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|Ted Gioia|May 28, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Music, too, can dismantle me—for instance, this morning: Sam Cooke singing “Touch the Hem of His Garment.”
Tessie rose, unrolled her scented handkerchief, and taking a bit of gum from a knot in the hem, placed it in her mouth.Read ‘The King in Yellow,’ the ‘True Detective’ Reference That’s the Key to the Show|Robert W. Chambers|February 20, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Here was one sister curled up happily against a big tree, setting tiny stitches into a very straight hem.
I supply Ne lak (defect) in hem, to make some sense; the F. text does not help here.Chaucer's Works, Volume 1 (of 7) -- Romaunt of the Rose; Minor Poems|Geoffrey Chaucer
Mrs. McAllister, finding out in some way that Violet was a clever seamstress, sent home fine linen handkerchiefs for her to hem.
Fold the front at the first pattern row, and hem it to form the scallop at the edge.The Ladies' Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness|Florence Hartley
Hilda left the road, with a trace of its red dust on the hem of her skirt, and struck out into the Maidan.Hilda|Sarah Jeanette Duncan