verb (used without object), hummed, humming.
to make a low, continuous, droning sound.
to give forth an indistinct sound of mingled voices or noises.
to utter an indistinct sound in hesitation, embarrassment, dissatisfaction, etc.; hem.
to sing with closed lips, without articulating words.
to be in a state of busy activity: The household hummed in preparation for the wedding.
British Slang. to have a bad odor, as of stale perspiration.
verb (used with object), hummed, humming.
to sound, sing, or utter by humming: to hum a tune.
to bring, put, etc., by humming: to hum a child to sleep.
the act or sound of humming; an inarticulate or indistinct murmur; hem.
Audio. an unwanted low-frequency sound caused by power-line frequencies in any audio component.
(an inarticulate sound uttered in contemplation, hesitation, dissatisfaction, doubt, etc.)

1300–50; Middle English; ultimately imitative; cognate with German hummen to hum; cf. humblebee

underhum, noun

5. bustle, buzz. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
hum (hʌm)
vb , hums, humming, hummed
1.  (intr) to make a low continuous vibrating sound like that of a prolonged m
2.  (intr) (of a person) to sing with the lips closed
3.  (intr) to utter an indistinct sound, as in hesitation; hem
4.  informal (intr) to be in a state of feverish activity
5.  slang (Brit), (Irish) (intr) to smell unpleasant
6.  slang (Austral) (intr) to scrounge
7.  hum and haw See hem
8.  a low continuous murmuring sound
9.  electronics an undesired low-frequency noise in the output of an amplifier or receiver, esp one caused by the power supply
10.  slang (Austral) a scrounger; cadger
11.  slang (Brit), (Irish) an unpleasant odour
interj, —n
12.  an indistinct sound of hesitation, embarrassment, etc; hem
[C14: of imitative origin; compare Dutch hommelen, Old High German humbal bumblebee]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., hommen "make a murmuring sound to cover embarrassment," later hummen "to buzz, drone" (early 15c.), probably of imitative origin. Sense of "sing with closed lips" is first attested late 15c.; that of "be busy and active" is 1884, perhaps on analogy of a beehive. Humming-bird (1630s) so called
from sound made by the rapid vibration of its wings.
"There is a curious bird to see to, called a humming bird, no bigger then a great Beetle." [Thomas Morton, "New English Canaan," 1637]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

hum (hŭm)
A low, continuous murmur blended of many sounds.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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