noun \ˈham\

: meat from the leg of a hog that is often prepared by smoking or salting

: a bad actor who performs in an exaggerated way

: someone who enjoys performing and who tends to behave in an exaggerated or playful way when people are watching

Full Definition of HAM

a :  the hollow of the knee
b :  a buttock with its associated thigh —usually used in plural
:  a cut of meat consisting of a thigh; especially :  one from a hog
[short for hamfatter, from The Ham-fat Man, minstrel song]
a :  a showy performer; especially :  an actor performing in an exaggerated theatrical style
b :  a licensed operator of an amateur radio station
:  a cushion used especially by tailors for pressing curved areas of garments
ham adjective

Examples of HAM

  1. We're having ham for dinner.
  2. He was once a fine actor, but now he's just an old ham.
  3. Cameras bring out the ham in her.

Origin of HAM

Middle English hamme, from Old English hamm; akin to Old High German hamma ham, Greek knēmē shinbone, Old Irish cnáim bone
First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Food Terms

Reuben, calamari, chuck, curry, edamame, foie gras, hummus, leaven, nonpareil, peel



Definition of HAM

transitive verb
:  to execute with exaggerated speech or gestures :  overact <ham it up for the camera>
intransitive verb
:  to overplay a part

First Known Use of HAM



noun \ˈham\

Definition of HAM

:  a son of Noah held to be the progenitor of the Egyptians, Nubians, and Canaanites

Origin of HAM

First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Jewish Religion Terms

Talmud, Zion, challah, dybbuk, kosher, tabernacle, tetragrammaton, yarmulke


noun \ˈham\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of HAM

: the part of the leg behind the knee : the hollow of the knee : popliteal space
: a buttock with its associated thigh or with the posterior part of a thigh—usually used in plural
: a hock or the hinder part of a hock


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Cut of meat consisting of the thigh of a hog, usually preserved through a curing process that involves salting and smoking or drying. In addition to preserving the meat, curing gives it additional flavour. Sugar or honey and spices are sometimes added to further enhance flavour. Produced throughout the Old World except where forbidden by religious edict (principally by observant Muslims and Jews), ham became a favoured food on farms of North America. The distinctive qualities of hams of various regions of the world result from unique combinations of hog-raising and meat-processing techniques. Virginia hams, for example, are cut from razorback hogs fed on peanuts and peaches and smoked over apple- and hickory-wood fires. Ham is a source of high-grade animal protein, thiamine, and iron.


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