noun (1)
\ ˈdram How to pronounce dram (audio) \
plural drams

Definition of dram

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a(1) : a unit of weight in the avoirdupois system equal to one sixteenth of an ounce — see Weights and Measures Table
(2) : a unit of weight in the apothecaries' system equal to one eighth of an ounce — see Weights and Measures Table
b(1) US : a unit of liquid capacity equal to ¹/₈ fluid ounce — see Weights and Measures Table
(2) British : a unit of liquid capacity equal to 0.217 cubic inches — see Weights and Measures Table
2a : a small portion of something to drink
b : a small amount


noun (2)
\ ˈdräm How to pronounce dram (audio) \

Definition of dram (Entry 2 of 4)

: the basic monetary unit of Armenia — see Money Table

Definition of dram (Entry 3 of 4)


noun (3)
\ ˈdram How to pronounce DRAM (audio) also ˈdē-ˌram How to pronounce DRAM (audio) \

Definition of DRAM (Entry 4 of 4)

: a type of RAM that must be continuously supplied with power and periodically rewritten in order to retain data — compare sram

Did you know?

In avoirdupois weight—that is, the system of weights commonly used in North America and the United Kingdom—a dram is equal to 1/16 ounce (1.772 grams). The word dram was borrowed from the Anglo-French and Late Latin word dragme, which was originally used for a silver coin used by the ancient Greeks (now known in English as the drachma) as well as for the coin's approximate weight. In the 16th century, English speakers began also using dram for a weight of fluid measure (also called a fluid dram) equal to 1/8 fluid ounce, and more loosely for any small portion of something to drink. Dram is also used figuratively for any small amount, in much the same way as grain and ounce.

First Known Use of dram

Noun (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(2)

Noun (2)

1993, in the meaning defined above

Noun (3)

1980, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for dram

Noun (1)

Middle English dragme, from Anglo-French & Late Latin; Anglo-French, dram, drachma, from Late Latin dragma, from Latin drachma, from Greek drachmē, literally, handful, from drassesthai to grasp

Noun (2)

Armenian, literally, coin, money, ultimately from Greek drachmē drachma

Noun (3)

dynamic + RAM (random-access memory)

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The first known use of dram was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Dram.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dram. Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for dram


variants: also drachm \ ˈdram How to pronounce dram (audio) \

Medical Definition of dram

1 : either of two units of weight:
a : an avoirdupois unit equal to 1.772 grams or 27.344 grains
b : a unit of apothecaries' weight equal to 3.888 grams or 60 grains

More from Merriam-Webster on dram

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dram


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