\ 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 Business and political leaders dice up their schedules into 30-minute increments, cramming in more than a dozen meetings a day with customers, partners, regulators and journalists. David Gelles, New York Times, "In Its 50th Year, Davos Is Searching for Its Soul," 19 Jan. 2020 The difference is that in California close to 40 million people are crammed together in a space only a fraction of the size of Australia, which is 18 times larger. Peter Fimrite,, "Those big wildfires in Australia look familiar — they’re much like California’s," 10 Jan. 2020 Instead, we’ll be besieged by games that try to cram themselves into the quiet moments and spaces of everyday life. Gene Park, Washington Post, "The most influential games of the decade," 19 Dec. 2019 Many people meal prep by shopping and cooking on the weekends, which may work better with your schedule than cramming it in during a weekday. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "A Beginner's Guide on How to Meal Prep Like a Pro," 2 Oct. 2019 America’s newest airline will never cram you into a too-tight seat. Wired, "UPS Now Runs the First Official Drone Airline," 1 Oct. 2019 As with Mischel's original study, some kids eat the marshmallow immediately, cramming it into their mouths with unabashed delight. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Forget the marshmallow test; this could be the real secret to kids’ future success," 19 Sep. 2019 The Boxster, which Jean-Daniel Roche said brought his lifetime tally of Porsches to nine, was crammed with books and documents relating to the two Air India crashes. The Economist, "Death in the Alps," 20 Dec. 2019 In Leutze’s painting, colonial soldiers on their way to the attack are crammed into a boat; in Monkman’s interpretation, the boat is piloted by indigenous people. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "At the Met, Two New Monumental Paintings Foreground the Indigenous Experience," 19 Dec. 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

26 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cram.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 26 January 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

Comments on cram

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to express in a more acceptable way

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