Definition of hee-haw in English:



  • 1The loud, harsh cry of a donkey or mule.

    ‘the burros brayed in raucous stentorian hee-haws’
    • ‘He let out a hee-haw of pain as we dragged him on his stomach away from the hole.’
    • ‘She began laughing in an obnoxious way, sounding like a mix between a donkey hee-haw and a pig snort.’
    • ‘To the northwest, the donkey will hee-haw, hee-haw, hee-haw for maybe fifteen seconds.’
    • ‘One particular group of males perched behind us had particularly irritating mating calls, responding to the incessant female cries with various forms of donkey-like hee-haws.’
    • ‘This set Dave off so badly that he started up the hee-haw again.’
    • ‘She imitates his nasal hee-haw very loudly and we look on, aghast.’
    1. 1.1US informal as modifier Relating to or denoting unsophisticated rural humour and attitudes.
      ‘an Elvis-loving hee-haw governor’
      • ‘This seemed to strike a funny cord in Jake, because he began laughing in an almost hee-haw kind of cackling.’
      • ‘Those who look past the stereotypes about the oil-rich hee-haw Texans coming to town will see a strong political conservative focus in the new administration, determinedly applied.’
      • ‘Little things start to annoy them - the height of the rough, the same old lunch menu, the hee-haw laugh of a certain fellow member.’
      • ‘If you aren't prepared for a big dose of early-60's style hee-haw music, don't buy this album.’
      • ‘When the national media deigned to pay any attention to it, it was invariably with snobbish disdain, hee-haw chuckling at the hillbilly music of athletics.’
      • ‘The hee-haw stuff is also mixed with earnest stuff: ‘I'm always amazed by our salespeople's acumen.’’
      • ‘This hee-haw fellow resonated with youngsters.’
      • ‘This is a hee-haw sitcom with a supporting cast of caricatures.’


[no object]
  • Make the loud, harsh cry of a donkey or mule.

    ‘the hee-hawing of the mules’
    • ‘The gang laughed and hee-hawed, stomped and danced and chanted a good-night prayer.’
    • ‘My memories of him will be as the little chatterbox, cracking the one liners, hee-hawing uncontrollably.’
    neigh, whinny
    View synonyms


Early 19th century: imitative.