cram

1 of 2

verb

crammed; cramming

transitive verb

1
: to pack tight : jam
cram a suitcase with clothes
a novel crammed with surprises
2
a
: 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
crammer noun

cram

2 of 2

noun

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

Example Sentences

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Which is how soccer wound up here, disrupting the game’s most powerful professional leagues halfway through their calendars to cram in the first ever November-December World Cup. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, 16 Nov. 2022 Our two-hour exploration — from departure to return — was barely enough time to cram in these activities. Kori Rumore, Chicago Tribune, 30 Sep. 2022 That means doing your best to plan ahead for big exams and papers, not waiting until the last minute to cram overnight. Kirsten Nunez, SELF, 15 Sep. 2022 Still, this is just about the most absurd place to cram those elements. Peter Debruge, Variety, 18 Aug. 2022 Thursday games are almost universally despised in the NFL, by players who put their bodies at risk by playing on a short week and coaches who cram a full week of work into a 72-or-so-hour period. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, 23 Nov. 2022 Some days, while running errands, the women will take a country-road detour instead of a busy street, trying to cram in a quick search. Faith Karimi, CNN, 17 Sep. 2022 Curry prefers to cram as much as possible into three- or four-day periods. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, 7 Oct. 2022 Instead, the federal government allows airlines to cram any number of seats into a cabin, in whatever size, as long as passengers can evacuate in an emergency within 90 seconds. Tribune News Service, oregonlive, 21 Aug. 2022
Noun
Suddenly, Claypool was diverted into an intense cram session, needing to learn the Bears offense in rapid fashion and, at the very least, understand his plays and responsibilities for the game against the Dolphins. Practices. Dan Wiederer, Chicago Tribune, 9 Nov. 2022 That meant that groups of up to 12 had to huddle around the captain at the helm or cram into the aft cockpit, leaving about half of the boat’s space unused. Michael Verdon, Robb Report, 9 Sep. 2022 Tourist attractions, religious venues and cram schools will also be able to welcome back visitors. Bloomberg.com, 22 July 2021 By putting lessons online, edtech’s promise was that students anywhere could access top teaching talent at affordable prices, rather than relying on neighborhood private tutors and cram schools. Shefali Anand, WSJ, 10 Sep. 2022 From an incoming freshman to a first-year grad student, the 10 looks ahead will inspire you for every class, cram session, and party lined up this semester. Jake Smith, Glamour, 26 Aug. 2022 For Carr, the last seven months have been one prolonged cram session. Ben Volin, BostonGlobe.com, 17 Aug. 2022 The extended preview period became a non-stop cram session for the cast, who were flooded with daily rewrites and got through performances by hiding crib notes on the set. Maryrose Wood, Variety, 12 Aug. 2022 Here’s a brief look at some of what did — and didn’t — get done during the Legislature’s all-night cram session. Christina Prignano, BostonGlobe.com, 1 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

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

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

1810, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near cram

Cite this Entry

“Cram.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cram. Accessed 10 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

cram

verb
ˈkram
crammed; cramming
1
: to stuff or crowd in
cram clothes into a bag
2
: to fill full
barns crammed with hay
3
: to study hard just before a test
crammer noun

Biographical Definition

Cram 1 of 2

biographical name (1)

Donald James 1919–2001 American chemist

Cram

2 of 2

biographical name (2)

Ralph Adams 1863–1942 American architect and author

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