Meaning of “ahem” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"ahem" in British English

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uk /əˈhəm/ us /əˈhəm/ mainly humorous


  • "Ahem," said a voice close to him.
  • Ahem! shall I congratulate you, auntie?
  • I think I must have taken a bit of a cold yesterday during—ahem!
  • You have gotten—ahem—prettier in the short time since I saw you at school.
  • Your course in college has been brilliant so far, thanks to—ahem—no matter—you have distinguished yourself.

(Definition of “ahem” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

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