Meaning of “hum” in the English Dictionary

"hum" in British English

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uk /hʌm/ us /hʌm/ -mm-

hum verb (MAKE A NOISE)

[ I ] to make a continuous low sound:

The computers were humming in the background.
What's that strange humming sound?

[ I or T ] to sing without opening your mouth:

She hummed to herself as she walked to school.
I've forgotten how that song goes - could you hum it for me?

[ I ] informal to be busy and full of activity, excitement, sounds, or voices:

The bar was really humming last night.

hum verb (SMELL BAD)

UK informal to smell very unpleasant:

Your feet really hum!


humnoun [ C usually singular ]

uk /hʌm/ us /hʌm/

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

"hum" in American English

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humverb [ I/T ]

us /hʌm/ -mm-

to make a continuous, low sound, or to sing a tune with closed lips:

[ I ] Debbie always hums to herself when she listens to music.
[ T ] I’ve forgotten how that tune goes – could you hum it for me?

fig. If something is humming, it is very busy and full of activity:

[ I ] Factories that make paper products are humming at 97% of capacity.

a continuous, low sound:

We could hear the constant hum of traffic outside the window.

(Definition of “hum” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)