Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

haw 1

An utterance used by a speaker who is fumbling for words.
intr.v. hawed, haw·ing, haws
To fumble in speaking.


haw 2

1. The fruit of a hawthorn.
2. A hawthorn or similar tree or shrub.

[Middle English, from Old English haga.]

haw 3

1. A nictitating membrane, especially of a domesticated animal.
2. An inflamed condition of this membrane.

[Origin unknown.]

haw 4

Used to command an animal pulling a load to turn to the left.
intr.v. hawed, haw·ing, haws
To turn to the left.


- If an animal haws, it turns or moves to the left.
See also related terms for moves.
References in classic literature ?
I was a mile from Thornfield, in a lane noted for wild roses in summer, for nuts and blackberries in autumn, and even now possessing a few coral treasures in hips and haws, but whose best winter delight lay in its utter solitude and leafless repose.
And this blessed gift of venerating love has been given to too many humble craftsmen since the world began for us to feel any surprise that it should have existed in the soul of a Methodist carpenter half a century ago, while there was yet a lingering after-glow from the time when Wesley and his fellow-labourer fed on the hips and haws of the Cornwall hedges, after exhausting limbs and lungs in carrying a divine message to the poor.
The difficulty now was to find timber of sufficient size for the construction of canoes, the trees in these high mountain regions being chiefly a scrubbed growth of pines and cedars, aspens, haws, and service-berries, and a small kind of cotton-tree, with a leaf resembling that of the willow.
cries the lawyer, twinkling; "for some of these fellows will pick up names by the roadside as another would gather haws.
We could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it,--if it were not the earth where the same flowers come up again every spring that we used to gather with our tiny fingers as we sat lisping to ourselves on the grass; the same hips and haws on the autumn's hedgerows; the same redbreasts that we used to call "God's birds," because they did no harm to the precious crops.
And when the proud forest is falling, To my oxen cheerfully calling, From morn until night I am bawling, Whoa, back there, and haw and gee; Till our labor is mutually ended, By my strength and cattle befriended, And against the mosquitoes defended By the bark of the walnut-trees.
Reads, reproducing her pronunciation exactly] "Cheer ap, Keptin; n' haw ya flahr orf a pore gel.
He laughs suddenly haw from an eager exulting face, then haw again, and then, when you are thanking heaven that it is at last over, comes a final haw, louder than the others.
I tell you your party is rotten and filled with grafters, and instead of flying into a rage you hum and haw and admit there is a great deal in what I say.
I was going to say that when I listened that morning, I listened with hadmiration amounting to haw.