Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

hem

2 verb
     
Related topics: Clothes
hem2 past tense and past participle hemmed, present participle hemming
1 [transitive]DCC to turn under the edge of a piece of material or clothing and stitch it in place
2

hem and haw

American English to keep pausing before saying something, and avoid saying it directly

hem somebody/something ↔ in

phrasal verb
1 to surround someone or something closely:
They were hemmed in on all sides by the soldiers and the dogs.
The market place is hemmed in by shops and banks.
2 to make someone feel that they are not free to do what they want to do:
They hem in the child with endless rules and restrictions.

Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.

Explore our topic dictionary