Main definitions of haw in English

: haw1haw2haw3

haw1

noun

  • The red fruit of the hawthorn.

    • ‘Delicious jellies and marmelades can be made from these American haws.’
    • ‘Where there were walls or hedges, bright orange rosehips, black sloes, red haws and yellow ivy bloom; a few bees, a small tortoiseshell butterfly.’
    • ‘The birds have had to rely on haws and berries and there are no cornfields in the western regions, most birds are thin and underdeveloped because of lack of sustenance.’
    • ‘Decades of travel in Ireland have made it a second homeland, where my senses recognize the bright red of winter haws and the sharp green of monkey-puzzle, the light tang of gorse and the languid wetness of winter dawn.’
    • ‘We can still find around us an abundance of hips and haws and holly, but for our once proud elms, in the UK at least, we need a Constable.’
    • ‘However, there appear to be lots of hips on the dog-rose, haws on the whitethorn and sloes on the blackthorn.’

Origin

Old English haga, of Germanic origin; probably related to hedge (compare with Dutch haag hedge).

Pronunciation:

haw

/hɔː/

Main definitions of haw in English

: haw1haw2haw3

haw2

noun

  • The third eyelid or nictitating membrane in certain mammals, especially dogs and cats.

    • ‘It has developed an oily outer coat and a fleecy undercoat, and eyes that shut tight to keep out water and infection with no haw, the third eyelid seen in the St. Bernard.’
    • ‘Eyelids which are to deeply pendant and show conspicuously the lachrymal glands, or a very red, thick haw, and eyes that are to light, are objectionable.’
    • ‘The haw moves across the eye horizontally, reaching from the inner corner to the outside of the eye and back. When not in use, the haw folds into the corner of the eye and is barely visible.’

Origin

Late Middle English (denoting a discharge from the eye): of unknown origin.

Pronunciation:

haw

/hɔː/

Main definitions of haw in English

: haw1haw2haw3

haw3

verb

  • see omitted unresolving XREF to "hum and haw " at hum
    • ‘One minute you're happily humming and hawing over what looks like the latest fad - the next you look round and discover that someone else has turned the thing into a genuine, bona fide industry.’
    • ‘He hums and haws, but eventually admits that he does.’
    • ‘Gilbert hummed and hawed for a while before reluctantly agreeing, after being asked the question three times, that he expected two of the remaining 13 places in his squad to be filled with players from south of the equator.’
    • ‘They hummed and hawed, there were rumblings of unease and the whole thing got delayed.’
    • ‘I've been humming and hawing for a few weeks now about what to buy my parents for Christmas and, thanks to an inspirational idea offered by someone on our message boards, I've found just the thing.’

Pronunciation:

haw

/hɔː/