ham

noun (1)
\ ˈham \

Definition of ham

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : the hollow of the knee
b : a buttock with its associated thigh usually used in plural
2 : a cut of meat consisting of a thigh especially : one from a hog

3 [ short for hamfatter, from "The Ham-fat Man," minstrel song ]

a : a showy performer especially : an actor performing in an exaggerated theatrical style
b : a licensed operator of an amateur radio station
4 : a cushion used especially by tailors for pressing curved areas of garments

ham

verb
hammed; hamming

Definition of ham (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to execute with exaggerated speech or gestures : overact ham it up for the camera

intransitive verb

: to overplay a part

Ham

noun (2)
\ ˈham \

Definition of Ham (Entry 3 of 3)

: a son of Noah held to be the progenitor of the Egyptians, Nubians, and Canaanites

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Other Words from ham

Noun (1)

ham adjective

Examples of ham in a Sentence

Noun (1)

We're having ham for dinner. He was once a fine actor, but now he's just an old ham. Cameras bring out the ham in her.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The 7-course degustation menu might feature Wagyu beef with endive or a lone tomato with basil seed and Iberico ham. Robyn Eckhardt, WSJ, "Two Strategic Days in Singapore: Where to Splurge, Where to Save," 4 Jan. 2019 The foundation is an arm of Smithfield Foods Inc. of Virginia, known for its hams. Ellen Knickmeyer, chicagotribune.com, "Husband of Scott Pruitt's landlord sought EPA work for client, memo says," 2 May 2018 Stir some sugar and spices into the milk mixture, and replace the ham and cheese with berries. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "You Can Make This Ham and Cheese Breakfast Bake Up to 24 Hours in Advance," 10 Dec. 2018 Photo: tatyana makeyeva/Reuters McDonald’s success contrasts with Russia’s most recognizable fast food brand Teremok, known in Russia for its blini, or crepes, heaping with caviar, sour cream or ham and cheese. Thomas Grove, WSJ, "In Russia, McDonald’s Serves Local Fries and a Side of Realpolitik," 8 Nov. 2018 Line two trays with parchment paper, and arrange assorted cheeses on one tray and thinly sliced hams and salamis on the other. Jeanmarie Brownson, chicagotribune.com, "Pack up a picnic of Spanish tapas to feed a crowd," 3 July 2018 La Casita was also cited for having tomatoes, lettuce, rice, ham and cheese at unsafe temperatures. Ben Brasch, ajc, "Mexican restaurant in Cobb fails health check with dirty kitchen," 25 June 2018 Add the leeks, ham and red pepper and sauté about 3 minutes. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "Welcome springtime with these beautiful brunch recipes," 25 Mar. 2018 Pour in enough stock to cover the ham hock about two-thirds up. Bethany Jean Clement, The Seattle Times, "Taking stock: The story of an accidental, excellent post-Thanksgiving recipe," 14 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Those figures suggest Chuying isn’t hamming this up. Jacky Wong, WSJ, "Buy a Bond in China, Get Some Pork in Return," 9 Nov. 2018 Residents are urged to plan ahead and take precaution in the event of a fast-moving storm suddenly hamming the area. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis weather: Heat advisory in effect for 4th of July," 2 July 2018 Photo: muhammad hamed/Reuters Complete details of Friday’s agreement were unclear, including whether Russian or Syrian forces controlled the border. Raja Abdulrahim, WSJ, "Syrian Regime Takes Key Border Crossing as More Rebel Towns Surrender," 6 July 2018 Decked out in black, the couple hammed it up for the photo crew, throwing in some surprise kisses as the cameras flashed. Chris Payne, Billboard, "Ashlee Simpson Ross & Evan Ross Hit the Billboard Music Awards Red Carpet in Style," 20 May 2018 Always ready to ham it up, BTS hung backstage with Taylor Swift, Lil Pump, Pharrell Williams and John Legend -- effortlessly charming all of them! Morgan Enos, Billboard, "BTS at the BBMAs: Their 9 Most Memorable Moments Onstage and Off," 21 May 2018 First stop: the Preacher, aka Chris Webber, hamming it up quite impressively as an actual preacher who sounds something like James Brown. Jocelyn Noveck, Detroit Free Press, "Review: ‘Uncle Drew’ has a predictable game plan," 28 June 2018 In a scene reminiscent of two gigantic TV wrestlers grappling for holds, the prehistoric beasts grunt, puff and ham it up for all the world like Gorgeous George and Man Mountain Dean. Thr Staff, The Hollywood Reporter, "'King Kong vs. Godzilla': THR's 1963 Review," 26 June 2018 Then Leconte, who had been hamming it up for the crowd, began to crank up his game. Kurt Streeter, New York Times, "Cheering John McEnroe in Paris Never Gets Old," 9 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ham.' 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 ham

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1933, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Noun (2)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ham

Noun (1)

Middle English hamme, from Old English hamm; akin to Old High German hamma ham, Greek knēmē shinbone, Old Irish cnáim bone

Noun (2)

Hebrew

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Learn More about ham

Dictionary Entries near ham

halyard

Halyikwamai

Halysites

ham

Ham

Hama

hamada

Statistics for ham

Last Updated

17 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ham

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

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More Definitions for ham

ham

noun

English Language Learners Definition of ham

: meat from the leg of a hog that is often prepared by smoking or salting

: a bad actor who performs in an exaggerated way

: someone who enjoys performing and who tends to behave in an exaggerated or playful way when people are watching

ham

noun
\ ˈham \

Kids Definition of ham

1 : a cut of meat consisting of a thigh of pork
2 : an operator of an amateur radio station
3 : a showy performer I know she likes attention, but what a ham!

ham

noun
\ ˈham \

Medical Definition of ham

1 : the part of the leg behind the knee : the hollow of the knee : popliteal space
2 : a buttock with its associated thigh or with the posterior part of a thigh usually used in plural
3 : a hock or the hinder part of a hock

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More from Merriam-Webster on ham

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ham

Spanish Central: Translation of ham

Nglish: Translation of ham for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ham for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ham

Comments on ham

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