\ ˈklam How to pronounce clam (audio) \

Definition of clam

 (Entry 1 of 3)


noun (2), often attributive

Definition of clam (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : any of numerous edible marine bivalve mollusks living in sand or mud
b : a freshwater mussel
2 : a stolid or closemouthed person
4 informal : dollar sense 3


clammed; clamming

Definition of clam (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to gather clams especially by digging

Illustration of clam

Illustration of clam

Noun (2)

clam 1a: a incurrent orifice, b siphon, c excurrent orifice, d mantle, e shell, f foot

In the meaning defined above

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Other Words from clam


clammer \ ˈkla-​mər How to pronounce clammer (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for clam

Synonyms: Noun (2)

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First Known Use of clam

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

circa 1520, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1636, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for clam

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Old English clamm bond, fetter; akin to Old High German klamma constriction and perhaps to Latin glomus ball

Noun (2)

clam entry 1; from the clamping action of the shells

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Time Traveler for clam

Time Traveler

The first known use of clam was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Clam.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/clam. Accessed 23 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for clam


\ ˈklam How to pronounce clam (audio) \

Kids Definition of clam

: a shellfish that lives in sand or mud and has a soft body surrounded by a hinged shell with two parts and that is often eaten as food

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