Main definitions of haw in English

: haw1haw2haw3

haw1

noun

  • The red fruit of the hawthorn.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Where there were walls or hedges, bright orange rosehips, black sloes, red haws and yellow ivy bloom; a few bees, a small tortoiseshell butterfly.’
    • ‘Delicious jellies and marmelades can be made from these American haws.’
    • ‘However, there appear to be lots of hips on the dog-rose, haws on the whitethorn and sloes on the blackthorn.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation:

haw

/hô/

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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation:

haw

/hô/

Main definitions of haw in English

: haw1haw2haw3

haw3

verb

  • see hem and haw at hem
    • ‘We hemmed and hawed, and I asked many, many questions, trying not to sound like I knew what I was talking about.’
    • ‘The president hemmed and hawed, fretted and frowned, sputtered and stammered.’
    • ‘After staring at the screen for an hour, hemming and hawing, I just said okay, write the damn thing.’
    • ‘He hemmed and hawed for a while, indicating that maybe the answer was just too personal to offer.’
    • ‘He claims to have gone back and seen the whole thing, but when pressed for specifics, hems and haws.’
    • ‘Rodgers says the officer hemmed and hawed before phoning her supervisor.’

Pronunciation:

haw

/hô/