\ ˈkram How to pronounce cram (audio) \
crammed; cramming

Definition of cram

 (Entry 1 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : to pack tight : jam cram a suitcase with clothes a novel crammed with surprises
2a : to fill with food to satiety : stuff
b : to eat voraciously : bolt the child crams her food
3 : to thrust in or as if in a rough or forceful manner crammed the letters into his pocket
4 : to prepare hastily for an examination cram the students for the test

intransitive verb

1 : to eat greedily or to satiety : stuff
2 : to study a subject intensively especially for an imminent examination



Definition of cram (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : a compressed multitude or crowd : crush
2 : last-minute study especially for an examination


biographical name (1)
\ ˈkram How to pronounce Cram (audio) \

Definition of Cram (Entry 3 of 4)

Donald James 1919–2001 American chemist


biographical name (2)

Definition of Cram (Entry 4 of 4)

Ralph Adams 1863–1942 American architect and author

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from cram


crammer noun

Synonyms for cram

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of cram in a Sentence

Verb He crammed the suitcase with his clothes. Before the trip I crammed my head with information about Spain. Noun battling the rush-hour cram in the subway
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Where Lynch took liberties and tried to cram all of the ideas into one, Villeneuve is aiming for authenticity. Angela Watercutter, Wired, "The First Dune Trailer Makes Some Epic Promises," 9 Sep. 2020 Freed from having to cram the piece into the traditional half-hour window, the project ended up being 45 minutes long. Jeff Strickler, Star Tribune, "Raising a glass to women, bars and suffrage," 4 Sep. 2020 But the family of six, along with a cat and guinea pigs, decided to cram into a hotel room in Slidell, paid for with their dwindling supply of money. Tyler Bridges,, "Phase 3 hinted at during John Bel Edwards' Convention Center tour: 'I hope the data supports it'," 4 Sep. 2020 More teams will cram into the postseason: 16 in all, more than half the clubs. Susan Slusser,, "A’s in buying mode as deadline approaches — will there be starters available?," 22 Aug. 2020 The larger metropolitan area, home to some 3 million people, is still trying to cram itself onto the Cape Verde peninsula, which curls out into the Atlantic from the westernmost point of Africa like an arm bent at the elbow. Joshua Sokol, The Atlantic, "The Worst Animal in the World," 20 Aug. 2020 The Browns’ first padded practice of the season was conducted in a downpour, but coach Kevin Stefanski kept the players outside instead of trying to cram them into the field house-turned-partial-weight room. cleveland, "What you need to know from Cleveland Browns training camp, August 17, 2020," 17 Aug. 2020 Don’t try to cram it all in—and expect to be successful—in just a couple of days. Michael Herne, Outdoor Life, "The Everyman’s Approach to DIY Archery Elk Hunting," 14 Aug. 2020 Because there are just too many to cram into a day, August is National Sandwich Month. Trevor Fraser,, "Firehouse, BurgerFi offer deals for National Sandwich Month," 14 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Restaurateurs can no longer cram diners in for tagliatelle and grigliata mista. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "Investors continue to push global stocks into record territory," 24 Aug. 2020 Growing up in Seoul, the young Lee enjoyed reading books and listening to music in his down time while his parents were out at work -- unlike his friends, who frequented cram schools. Sohee Kim,, "SoftBank Backs 29-Year-Old’s Goal of Netflix for Online Fiction," 3 Aug. 2020 Some of her friends were placing academics over health risks and were still attending cram-school classes. Los Angeles Times, "What if schools are closed for weeks? That’s already the reality in parts of Asia," 13 Mar. 2020 Zkai, a cram school for university entrance exams, has a high acceptance rate to Todai. Motoko Rich, New York Times, "At Japan’s Most Elite University, Just 1 in 5 Students Is a Woman," 8 Dec. 2019 Where and to whom one is born often plays a role in deciding where one studies, especially since the route to top universities is paved with expensive cram school fees. Diksha Madhok, Quartz India, "Indian employers are stubbornly obsessed with elite students—and it’s hurting them," 20 Nov. 2019 Nowadays, more people surrender their cell phones and cram inside than the space was designed to hold, with little distraction from the proceedings or each other. Laurie Kellman,, "What’s a SCIF? It’s a hot, sweaty and secret room at the center of the House impeachment inquiry.," 8 Nov. 2019 Attendees and performers pre-gamed the fest with online cram sessions into each other’s SoundCloud pages and Instagram accounts. Michael Andor Brodeur,, "At this campout, a digital community connected over disconnecting in the woods," 22 Aug. 2019 Hawkers, hackers, and pickpockets hunting for iPhones all cram onto the pedestrian sky bridge that spans Zhongguancun Road. Matt Sheehan, WIRED, "WFH: Chinese Engineers Abroad Come Back," 13 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cram.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of cram


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1810, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cram


Middle English crammen, from Old English crammian; akin to Old Norse kremja to squeeze

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cram

Time Traveler for cram

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for cram

Last Updated

14 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cram.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for cram


How to pronounce Cram (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cram

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to fill (something) so that there is no room for anything else : to fill (something) completely
: to push or force (someone or something) into a space that is tight or crowded
: to push or force yourself into a space that is tight or crowded



English Language Learners Definition of cram (Entry 2 of 2)

US : a quick period of study in order to learn a lot of information quickly for a test, exam, etc.


\ ˈkram How to pronounce cram (audio) \
crammed; cramming

Kids Definition of cram

1 : to stuff or pack tightly … oh, the joy of being able to cram large pieces of something sweet … into one's mouth!— Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
2 : to fill full I crammed my suitcase with clothes.
3 : to study hard just before a test

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on cram

What made you want to look up cram? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three bears two of them look like theyre whispering to a third bear who looks chuffed to be the center of attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!