\ 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 problem, of course, is that the league management wanted to cram as many games as possible into the shortest imaginable time for revenue purposes. Ira Winderman,, "ASK IRA: Could Ariza, Iguodala wind up in a Heat job share?," 19 Mar. 2021 For the past year, many people have had to cram those identities into a single physical space. Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic, "We’ve Never Known the People We Live With So Intimately," 11 Mar. 2021 Gant, Mitchell and Pope may not have to cram an entire career’s worth of impact into one season. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Ohio State football’s Dallas Gant and Teradja Mitchell can still build a legacy — and they have the blueprint," 26 Mar. 2021 The Grammys, held earlier this week, exceeded expectations from a performance perspective, and staging decadent site-specific spectacles instead of trying to cram everyone and everything into a single arena turned out to be a good idea. Alissa Walker, Curbed, "Don’t Hold the Oscars at Union Station," 17 Mar. 2021 On the other hand, some activators prefer to treat their outings like marathons, trying to cram as many small peaks as possible into a single trip. Chase Brush, Outside Online, "Inside the Summit-Obsessed World of Ham Radio," 14 Mar. 2021 While teams will resort to doing magic accounting tricks to cram their rosters under the cap, the Bengals remain in a prime position. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, "Doc's Morning Line: A year ago today, we were forever changed. Was it for the better?," 11 Mar. 2021 As engineers try to cram more transistors into a chip to speed up performance, chips may get too hot to manage. Will Knight, Wired, "This Chip for AI Works Using Light, Not Electrons," 10 Mar. 2021 It was built in 1937 and could cram about 4,000 fans into the building with bleachers on the stage included. IndyStar, "Michigan City: ‘You look in there and it’s just humongous.’," 2 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But if lawmakers and their guests follow tradition and cram into the House chamber, one Republican is warning any mention of bipartisanship may be poorly received by his own party. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "Calls for unity in Biden's joint address would bring boos from Republicans irked by spending bill," 11 Mar. 2021 Already, hospitals have had to turn away ambulances, line hallways with gurneys and cram bodies into overflowing morgues. Los Angeles Times, "Today’s Headlines: A historic win in Georgia," 6 Jan. 2021 Instead, the Spurs’ newest rookies — like other newbies across the league — have been forced into a three-week cram session leading to the Dec. 23 regular-season opener at Memphis. Jeff Mcdonald,, "For Spurs’ rookies Devin Vassell and Tre Jones, learning curve is steep," 11 Dec. 2020 Students spend days and long evenings at expensive private cram schools preparing for the hypercompetitive exam. Washington Post, "South Korea’s university entrance exams were stressful enough. Then a pandemic arrived.," 2 Dec. 2020 Major corporations including Samsung and LG rely on exams to weed out applicants, spawning an industry of cram schools and prep books tailored specifically to their exams. Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times, "Testing times: South Korea holds high-stakes college exam as COVID-19 cases rise," 2 Dec. 2020 For Korean students whose families can’t afford private tutors or cram schools, the odds are stacked considerably against them. Jonathan Lee, Wired, "Why So Many Esports Pros Come From South Korea," 27 Oct. 2020 Some of that experience involves education—the seminar discussion in a facsimile of a medieval monastery, the cram session under the vaulted ceiling of a library, the brisk, after-class chat with a professor across a grassy quad. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "America Will Sacrifice Anything for the College Experience," 20 Oct. 2020 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

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

12 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cram.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2021.

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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)

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

Nglish: Translation of cram for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cram for Arabic Speakers

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