noun (1)
\ ˈkam How to pronounce cam (audio) \

Definition of cam

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : a rotating or sliding piece (such as an eccentric wheel or a cylinder with an irregular shape) in a mechanical linkage used especially in transforming rotary motion into linear motion or vice versa
2 : camshaft an engine with a single overhead cam


noun (2)

Definition of cam (Entry 2 of 4)

: camera especially : video camera

Definition of CAM (Entry 3 of 4)

1 computer-aided manufacturing
2 complementary and alternative medicine


geographical name
\ ˈkam How to pronounce Cam (audio) \

Definition of Cam (Entry 4 of 4)

river 40 miles (64 kilometers) long in Cambridgeshire, east central England, flowing into the Ouse River

First Known Use of cam

Noun (1)

1777, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1977, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cam

Noun (1)

perhaps from French came, from German Kamm, literally, comb, from Old High German kamb

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Cite this Entry

“Cam.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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Medical Definition of CAM

2 complementary and alternative medicine According to a 2002 survey by the National Center for Health Statistics, 36 percent of adults in the United States used some form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), including naturopathy, relaxation techniques, chiropractic, yoga, massage, and diets. — In-Sung Yoo, The News Journal (Wilmington, Delaware), 19 Mar. 2006

More from Merriam-Webster on cam

Nglish: Translation of cam for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cam for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about cam


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