to fold back and sew down the edge of (cloth, a garment, etc.); form an edge or border on or around.
to enclose or confine (usually followed by in, around, or about): hemmed in by enemies.
an edge made by folding back the margin of cloth and sewing it down.
the edge or border of a garment, drape, etc., especially at the bottom.
the edge, border, or margin of anything.
Architecture. the raised edge forming the volute of an Ionic capital.
Other definitions for hem (2 of 3)
(an utterance resembling a slight clearing of the throat, used to attract attention, express doubt, etc.)
the utterance or sound of “hem.”
a sound or pause of hesitation: His sermon was full of hems and haws.
to utter the sound “hem.”
to hesitate in speaking.
How to use hem in a sentence
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 | THE 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 | THE 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 | THE 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 | THE DAILY BEAST
Here was one sister curled up happily against a big tree, setting tiny stitches into a very straight hem.The Box-Car Children | Gertrude Chandler Warner
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.The Box-Car Children | Gertrude Chandler Warner
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
British Dictionary definitions for hem (1 of 3)
an edge to a piece of cloth, made by folding the raw edge under and stitching it down
short for hemline
to provide with a hem
(usually foll by in, around, or about) to enclose or confine
British Dictionary definitions for hem (2 of 3)
a representation of the sound of clearing the throat, used to gain attention, express hesitation, etc
(intr) to utter this sound
hem and haw or hum and haw to hesitate in speaking or in making a decision
British Dictionary definitions for hem- (3 of 3)
a US variant of haemo-
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