\ 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

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Other Words from cram


crammer noun

Synonyms for cram

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The remnants of a biting winter remain as temperatures dip below freezing, and sick and starving families cram together and purport to keep themselves warm beneath the elements as bombs fall – with nowhere left to run. Fox News, "Displaced Syrian family lives in a graveyard as the war enters its 10th year," 16 Mar. 2020 Ignoring warnings of influenza among soldiers preparing for World War I, the march to support the war effort drew 200,000 people who crammed together to watch the procession. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, "This chart of the 1918 Spanish flu shows why social distancing works," 11 Mar. 2020 Stereoscopic souvenir cards show a faux mountainside crammed like a Victorian what-not shelf with deer, goats, polecats, and raptors. Susan Tallman, The New York Review of Books, "What the Little Woman Was Up To," 10 Mar. 2020 Travelers crammed aboard standing-room-only trains, tucking their faces into scarves and sharing sanitizing gel. Christopher Weber,, "California prepares to dock cruise ship with 21 virus cases," 9 Mar. 2020 Travelers crammed aboard standing-room-only trains, tucking their faces into scarves and sharing sanitizing gel. Anchorage Daily News, "Italy quarantines north in drastic bid to slow virus spread," 8 Mar. 2020 Snakes, raccoon dogs, porcupines and deer were just some of the species crammed inside cages, side by side with shoppers and store owners, according to footage obtained by CNN. Ben Westcott, CNN, "China has made eating wild animals illegal after the coronavirus outbreak. But ending the trade won't be easy," 5 Mar. 2020 The plane was so ridiculously crammed with seats that my husband’s knees were hitting the seat in front of him, before the reclining began. Susan Glaser, cleveland, "To recline or not? Readers weigh in on the great airline seat debate," 1 Mar. 2020 Imagine unicorns prowling garbage cans in middle-class neighborhoods, and a winged centaur cop who's forgotten how to fly and must instead cram inside a regular-police car. Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press, "How new Pixar movie 'Onward' pays tribute to metro Detroit family," 29 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 The Flip 4 boasts 12 hours of high-quality audio, which should be enough to last through any party or all-night cram session. Julianne Ross, CNN Underscored, "Pick up a sleek Bluetooth speaker to blast tunes in your dorm room," 24 July 2019 His experience last season was akin to a months-long cram session. Luke Johnson,, "Teddy Bridgewater saw potential for growth in New Orleans, so he stayed," 24 June 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.

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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

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Time Traveler for cram

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for cram

Last Updated

22 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cram.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Apr. 2020.

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on cram

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cram

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cram

Spanish Central: Translation of cram

Nglish: Translation of cram for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cram for Arabic Speakers

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