|a calculus or concretion found in the stomach or intestines of certain animals, esp. ruminants, formerly reputed to be an effective remedy for poison.|
|a chattering or flighty, light-headed person.|
|1.||an edge to a piece of cloth, made by folding the raw edge under and stitching it down|
|2.||short for hemline|
|—vb (usually foll by in, around, |
|3.||to provide with a hem|
|4.||to enclose or confine|
|[Old English hemm; related to Old Frisian hemme enclosed land]|
Variant of hemo-.
of a garment, the fringe of a garment. The Jews attached much importance to these, because of the regulations in Num. 15:38, 39. These borders or fringes were in process of time enlarged so as to attract special notice (Matt. 23:5). The hem of Christ's garment touched (9:20; 14:36; Luke 8:44).
hem and haw
Be hesitant and indecisive; avoid committing oneself, as in When asked about their wedding date, she hemmed and hawed, or The President hemmed and hawed about new Cabinet appointments. This expression imitates the sounds of clearing one's throat. [Late 1700s]