Definition of hum and haw in English:

hum and haw


  • Hesitate; be indecisive.

    ‘I was humming and hawing over buying copies’
    • ‘But when I ask his closest advisers whether the Prime Minister has been persuaded of this, they hum and haw.’
    • ‘After the 6 month period is up, we hum and haw about whether or not we really want to hire the person so we get extended for another 6 months.’
    • ‘Beckett never explained just who or what Godot is, preferring to let generations of theatre types hem and haw over the possibilities.’
    • ‘The longer you hum and haw, the more time you'll spend away from your post.’
    • ‘And I'm supposed to smile a lot for all these moronic people who either try to haggle with me about the prices or want to hem and haw for an hour or so before making their decision.’
    • ‘We, as girls, will hem and haw and analyze every letter of what we say to that ‘chosen ‘guy, and worry about how we're coming off, and just worry in general.’
    • ‘I never knew how to - I'd hem and haw and qualify like I'm doing now.’
    • ‘There's been a bunch of legal experts wheeled on to hum and haw about this - perhaps it's good for Michael, because they'd know that kids lie.’
    • ‘It's also what makes the game longer than you might expect, as players hem and haw over their partial information, trying to reason out who gave what to whom.’
    • ‘I know you're going to hem and haw and hedge your bets here, but who do you like, each of you, Vonzel, Carrie or Bo?’
    be indecisive, hesitate, dither, vacillate, procrastinate, equivocate, prevaricate, waver, falter, fluctuate
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