Definition of clear one's throat in US English:

clear one's throat


  • Cough slightly so as to speak more clearly, attract attention, or to express hesitancy before saying something awkward.

    • ‘I laughed and gave him a peck on the lips again before we heard someone clearing their throat to gain our attention.’
    • ‘He was suffering from a heavy cold which caused him to sniffle, blow his nose, cough and clear his throat throughout his 135-minute performance.’
    • ‘Matt awkwardly clears his throat and begins to speak.’
    • ‘The sculpture emits a series of noises: the artist coughing, sniffling, clearing his throat, yawning audibly, sighing.’
    • ‘Josh just shook his head before clearing his throat to get some attention again.’
    • ‘Some flip through their programs, interested in educating themselves about the history of the piece to be performed, others reapply lipstick, and a gruff old man clears his throat before turning to speak to his formidable looking wife.’
    • ‘Coach let us sulk for a minute or two, until finally clearing his throat, drawing our attention back to him.’
    • ‘And then I heard the sound of someone clearing their throat to get my attention.’
    • ‘He coughed once, clearing his throat as the three turned and looked at him.’
    • ‘I coughed, partly to clear my throat, partly to demand full attention.’
    hack, hawk, bark, clear one's throat, hem, croak, wheeze, gasp, choke, struggle for breath, fight for air
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