- 1[intransitive, transitive] to sing a tune with your lips closed She was humming softly to herself. He began to hum along with the music. hum something What's that tune you're humming? CollocationsMusicListening listen to/enjoy/love/be into music/classical music/jazz/pop/hip-hop, etc. listen to the radio/an MP3 player/a CD put on/play a CD/a song/some music turn down/up the music/radio/volume/bass go to a concert/festival/gig/performance/recital copy/burn/rip music/a CD/a DVD download music/an album/a song/a demo/a videoPlaying play a musical instrument/the piano/percussion/a note/a riff/the melody/a concerto/a duet/by ear sing an anthem/a ballad/a solo/an aria/the blues/in a choir/soprano/alto/tenor/bass/out of tune hum a tune/a theme tune/a lullaby accompany a singer/choir strum a chord/guitarPerforming form/start/get together/join/quit/leave a band give a performance/concert/recital do a concert/recital/gig play a concert/gig/festival/venue perform (British English) at/in a concert/(especially North American English) a concert appear at a festival/live go on/embark on a (world) tourRecording write/compose music/a ballad/a melody/a tune/a song/a theme song/an opera/a symphony land/get/sign a record deal be signed to/be dropped by a record company record/release/put out an album/a single/a CD be top of/top the charts get to/go straight to/go straight in at/enter the charts at number one
- 2[intransitive] to make a low continuous sound The computers were humming away. The overhead wires hummed with power.
- 3[intransitive] to be full of activity The streets were beginning to hum with life. The whole room was humming now. Things were beginning to hum. Word Origin late Middle English: imitative.Extra examples He began to hum, somewhat tunelessly. I was humming along with the music. What’s that tune you’re humming?Idioms
BrE BrE//hʌm//; NAmE NAmE//hʌm//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they hum
BrE BrE//hʌm//; NAmE NAmE//hʌm//he / she / it hums
BrE BrE//hʌmz//; NAmE NAmE//hʌmz//past simple hummed
BrE BrE//hʌmd//; NAmE NAmE//hʌmd//past participle hummed
BrE BrE//hʌmd//; NAmE NAmE//hʌmd//-ing form humming
BrE BrE//ˈhʌmɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈhʌmɪŋ//
(informal) to take a long time to make a decision or before you say something We hummed and hawed for weeks before deciding to buy the house.