\ˈkram \
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 \

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 & Antonyms for cram

Synonyms: Verb

brim, charge, fill, heap, jam, jam-pack, load, pack, stuff

Antonyms: Verb

clear, empty, evacuate, vacate, void

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Examples of cram in a Sentence


He crammed the suitcase with his clothes. Before the trip I crammed my head with information about Spain.


battling the rush-hour cram in the subway
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Darwish and his granddaughter were among a batch of about 300 Syrians crammed into trucks, tractors and other vehicles piled with mattresses and blankets. Washington Post, "Hundreds of Syrians leave Lebanon for long-awaited reunions," 28 June 2018 The current plan involves sending supplies ahead, then sending crews of four crammed into spaceships the size of a tour bus for the 18-month journey. Billy Baker,, "As the other world turns: How a trip to Mars thwarted and ignited love," 19 May 2018 This is an honest-to-goodness film, produced on 16-millimeter stock to be projected on a portable screen for an audience of military and government people crammed into the same room. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The A-10 Warthog Was a Badass Even in This Old-School '70s Film," 3 May 2018 The migrants described being rounded up hundreds at a time, crammed into trucks for hours to what is known as Point Zero, then dropped in the desert and pointed toward Niger. Lori Hinnant,, "Algeria expels thousands of migrants in forced Sahara march," 25 June 2018 Instead, they had been forced to continue their journey to Iraq, crammed into gypsy cabs that were dispatched, unprotected, down a highway known to be so dangerous that American civilian workers were flown into the country, not driven. Ellen Barry, New York Times, "Terrorists Killed 12 Nepalese Men. Was an American Military Contractor to Blame?," 15 June 2018 Choosing the wrong plants — and cramming in too many. Debbie Carlson, ajc, "5 mistakes you’re making when purchasing garden supplies," 8 June 2018 Choosing the wrong plants — and cramming in too many. Debbie Carlson,, "5 mistakes you’re making when purchasing garden supplies," 6 June 2018 Photo: Andrew Hetherington for The Wall Street Journal Four years ago, the members of Dignitas were competing without a sponsor, paying their own travel expenses and sometimes cramming into one hotel room on the road. Elliott Krause, WSJ, "How Professional Video Gamers Train for a World Championship," 23 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Gesicki and Smythe need the nightly cram sessions to digest Miami’s playbook. Omar Kelly,, "Dolphins rookie tight ends Mike Gesicki, Durham Smythe cramming to play catch up," 11 June 2018 Those cram sessions are coming in the next few days for Nance, Clarkson, Osman and Zizic. Chris Fedor,, "How Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson are approaching their first postseason appearance," 12 Apr. 2018 Maroth, 40, looks back on his 9-21 record 15 years ago — no one has lost 20 or more games since — as a cram session of life lessons. Stephen Ruiz,, "Fire Frogs coach Mike Maroth embraces lessons from long-lost season with Detroit Tigers," 6 Apr. 2018 And it is backed to these mind-numbing continuing resolutions, omnibus nightmares, and shutdown threats, and the result is usually a last-minute budget-busting cram down. Fox News, "Ingraham: Washington's real March Madness," 21 Mar. 2018 During the interim, these young adults, known as ronin, will likely study at a cram school. Annabelle Timsit, The Atlantic, "Overhauling Japan's High-Stakes University-Admission System," 13 Jan. 2018

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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Phrases Related to cram

cram in

Statistics for cram

Last Updated

19 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for cram

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

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More Definitions for cram



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)

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


\ˈkram \
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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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).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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