noun (1)
ham·​let | \ ˈham-lət How to pronounce hamlet (audio) \

Definition of hamlet

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a small village


noun (2)
Ham·​let | \ ˈham-lət How to pronounce Hamlet (audio) \

Definition of Hamlet (Entry 2 of 2)

: a legendary Danish prince and hero of Shakespeare's play Hamlet

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Synonyms for hamlet

Synonyms: Noun (1)

bourg, townlet, vill, village, whistle-stop

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Examples of hamlet in a Sentence

Noun (1)

she always longed to return to the quiet hamlet where she had been born

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Adkinson admits the villages are really more like hamlets, with usually no more than eight houses. Phil Boucher, Fortune, "Want to Buy a Spanish Village? This Real Estate Agent Has 400 to Sell," 14 July 2019 There are jaw-dropping installations downtown, interactive performance art for kids, and super mellow pop-up concerts along the wilderness trails on the hamlet’s outskirts. Ray Mark Rinaldi, The Know, "The six best Colorado art festivals you’re not going to," 28 June 2019 What a delightfully awful thing to befall a small Russian hamlet, which Sarah A. Topol beautifully recounts like a modern folktale. The Editors, Outside Online, "The Weirdest Stories We've Ever Told," 4 June 2019 According to the last census, exactly 649,481 rural communities, hamlets, and burghs sprinkle India. Paul Salopek, National Geographic, "Millions of indigenous people face eviction from their forest homes," 15 May 2019 During Prohibition, the region’s secluded coves and then-remote hamlets became a magnet for rum-running, bootlegging and speakeasies. Jeanne Cooper, SFChronicle.com, "Where to watch the sunset with a cocktail around Half Moon Bay," 11 July 2018 In this east-side hamlet, 1 in 3 lack a high school diploma. Holly V. Hays, Indianapolis Star, "Site of Indy’s famous RFK speech gets $100K boost to inspire ‘courageous conversations’," 4 Apr. 2017 Glenn Close is looking for some action in Bedford Hills, a quaint hamlet in the town of Bedford, N.Y. Jack Flemming, latimes.com, "Actress Glenn Close brings bucolic New York farmhouse to market," 18 June 2019 Capture a unique angle on the country’s iconic beauty, and convey the vibrant culture of rural communities while documenting colorful towns and fishing hamlets. National Geographic, "Norway High School Expedition," 17 June 2019

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

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1601, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hamlet

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Anglo-French hamelet, diminutive of ham village, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English hām village, home

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Statistics for hamlet

Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for hamlet

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

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More Definitions for hamlet



English Language Learners Definition of hamlet

: a small village


ham·​let | \ ˈham-lət How to pronounce hamlet (audio) \

Kids Definition of hamlet

: a small village

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More from Merriam-Webster on hamlet

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hamlet

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hamlet

Spanish Central: Translation of hamlet

Nglish: Translation of hamlet for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hamlet for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hamlet

Comments on hamlet

What made you want to look up hamlet? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something desired as essential

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