\ 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 After money ran low, David and Sebastian squeezed into an even smaller apartment: one room crammed with 10 other people, a few bunk beds and a fridge. Dara Lind, ProPublica, "“Women to One Side, Men to the Other”: How the Border Patrol’s New Powers and Old Carelessness Separated a Family," 31 Jan. 2020 Inside, three people busily went through postal trays crammed with envelopes near a table heaped with handmade gifts, military memorabilia, blankets, quilts, candy and the like. Bob Highfill, USA TODAY, "'It's overwhelming': 104-year-old WWII vet receives thousands of cards for Valentine's Day," 25 Jan. 2020 The steep slope, crammed with Lego-like houses, is already home to between 5,000 and 6,000 Palestinians, Terrestrial Jerusalem estimates. NBC News, "Why Jerusalem's ancient past is once again the battleground for its future," 11 Jan. 2020 Eight people have been killed in the bushfires that have swept through New South Wales and the neighboring state of Victoria this week, destroying hundreds of properties in rural towns crammed with tourists during the peak summer holiday season. Jason Scott, Fortune, "As Wildfires Ravage Australia, Tourists In Coastal Towns Struggle to Evacuate," 2 Jan. 2020 And after sprinting through a November crammed with 16 games, the Wings have until Saturday before hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Red Wings' 30-game start is one of the worst in NHL history," 3 Dec. 2019 This particular fox continues to guard a henhouse crammed with students battling soaring debts, a crushing burden that harms the entire economy., "held DeVos in contempt," 27 Oct. 2019 There's Idlib, the province in northwest Syria currently under the control of a collection of rebels extremist groups and crammed with millions of civilians who fled there. Ben Wederman, CNN, "This is how Syria's 8-year war ends. But there's nothing to celebrate," 16 Oct. 2019 That evening, Wanda ventured to an open-air market crammed with rickety shacks as the shadows grew long and the light turned gold. USA Today, "Were Wanda Tucker’s ancestors America’s first slaves? A difficult search for answers in far-away Angola," 22 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 Getting off a plane to go play football for three hours after a week-long cram session of film study, workouts and practice seems downright draining. Akeem Glaspie, Indianapolis Star, "Colts have one of the lightest travel schedules in the NFL. Will it matter? Probably not.," 11 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

23 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cram.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 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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