Definition of ho-hum in US English:



  • Used to express boredom or resignation.

    • ‘Now I don't need those sights in my head as I prepare to return to work… ho-hum.’
    • ‘And what makes it worse, once he does, everybody will just say ho-hum, we're supposed to win.’
    • ‘Again, ho-hum, it's an amphitheatre, and here the stage is the sea.’
    • ‘If your ho-ho has become ho-hum, try something new this year - with a little imagination, you can always reinvent a reason for the season.’
    • ‘But ho-hum, they can't include everything, and it didn't really bother me.’
    • ‘But I think the public will readily accept the bill, and it will quickly go from ooh-ah to ho-hum.’
    • ‘Another routine robbery in the Los Angeles area, ho-hum.’


  • Boring.

    ‘a ho-hum script’
    • ‘May sound ho-hum, but imagine the extra energy you'll have by avoiding the last-minute crunch.’
    • ‘There is, of course, nothing wrong with a hobby - unless it becomes ho-hum.’
    • ‘When we were kids, dinosaurs were ho-hum, like a lot of very old things, but in the last 10 or 20 years there has been a real upsurge in interest.’
    • ‘Of course, today's reader might find such a cartoon a bit ho-hum.’
    • ‘Maybe this is not surprising as the hacks focus on the main game - the federal election this year - and the fact that state politics have become so predictable and ho-hum.’
    • ‘From a strategy perspective that might seem pretty ho-hum, but it's really about what our clients are looking for.’
    • ‘The pattern is nearly predictable and certainly ho-hum.’
    • ‘Short-but-sweet is better than drawn-out and ho-hum.’
    • ‘The cars are somewhat, well, ho-hum.’
    • ‘I like that kind of stuff better than seeing all the great castles and cathedrals, which can after a while get a little ho-hum.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, the Caesar salad was only average - ho-hum dressing, sad little croutons and, my pet peeve, artificial bacon bits.’
    • ‘And you were expecting just another ho-hum, humdrum week’
    • ‘Listing impressive numbers is ho-hum.’
    • ‘If you're not as wealthy as Madonna, for whom such excursions must be ho-hum, it's an exceptional, once-in-a-lifetime experience that can't be beaten.’
    • ‘Operators, however, are discovering that sodas don't have to be ho-hum.’
    • ‘The transfer is ho-hum, there are no extras to speak of, and the plot is about as exciting as watching my toenails grow.’
    boring, monotonous, dull, deadly dull, uninteresting, unexciting, unvaried, unvarying, lacking variety, mind-numbing, mindless, soul-destroying, soulless, humdrum, dreary, mundane, wearisome, wearying, tiresome, soporific, dry, as dry as dust, arid, lifeless, colourless, monochrome, uninspired, uninspiring, flat, plodding, slow, banal, vapid, insipid, bland, lacklustre, prosaic, run-of-the-mill, pedestrian, jejune, leaden, heavy
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1920s: imitative of a yawn.