Definition of ahem in English:

ahem

exclamation

  • Used to represent the noise made when clearing the throat, typically to attract attention or express disapproval or embarrassment.

    ‘ahem, excuse me’
    ‘well, ahem, not exactly’
    • ‘I read that book recently and it had a real, ahem, impact on me.’
    • ‘As part of my - ahem - sociological research, I have posted another personal ad.’
    • ‘Apologies for stating the obvious but, ahem, it's a tad cold outside - just in case you hadn't noticed.’
    • ‘The idea is that you train your dog to… ahem… eliminate whenever it hears a certain word or phrase.’
    • ‘Not being constricted by a pocket-money allowance, price is a secondary consideration for we, ahem, more mature buyers.’
    • ‘The public bar would win no beauty contests, and avoid it at all costs if you have a problem with passive smoking - or, ahem, folk music.’
    • ‘As it happens, it was 6 months before I attended a book group session, and the book itself turned out to be about, ahem, spelling bees.’
    • ‘You don't buy that sort of thing if you haven't got something… ahem… on your mind.’
    • ‘Melissa - ahem… I get the distinct feeling that I've been booted out of the cheerleading squad?’
    • ‘Bottom line, the show's a little too, ahem, long, but any less and the $48 price tag would seem limp.’
    • ‘If they had let me in flight deck while airborne, I'd only have distracted their work with my charm… ahem!’
    • ‘Some of our distinguished public officials would, ahem, be leading the way.’
    • ‘And today comes further news of the - ahem - minor difficulties.’
    • ‘Something to do with - ahem - a new private secretary in her office.’
    • ‘Back in my - ahem - college days, there was a little game called The Century Club.’
    • ‘These aquarium buddies are cheap, require little upkeep and there is no expensive burial should they, ahem, not make it.’
    • ‘It is far, far more than a mere institution governed by a body of, ahem, rather obtuse potentates.’
    • ‘I appreciate that this results in slightly uninspiring blog entries… ahem, anyway.’
    • ‘This morning, I found myself caught up in a brief discussion about some of the latest events on the - ahem - popular music scene.’
    • ‘I'm OK at gears but I'm not very good at, ahem, asserting myself in traffic.’

Origin

Mid 18th century: lengthened form of hem.

Pronunciation

ahem

/əˈhɛm/