ham·​my ˈha-mē How to pronounce hammy (audio)
hammier; hammiest
: marked by exaggerated and usually self-conscious theatricality
hammily adverb
hamminess noun

Examples of hammy in a Sentence

a hammy singer whose overwrought renditions of love songs just beg listeners to cry
Recent Examples on the Web Fassbender plays the hit man like a runway model — photogenic but blank, an automaton’s version of Kevin Spacey’s hammy villain in Se7en. Armond White, National Review, 17 Nov. 2023 That doesn’t apply to Branagh, who has always been a perfect fit for the hammy character of Poirot. Caryn James, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Sep. 2023 And while the third episode is, indeed, an absolute torrent of badassery, early episodes are dominated by talk and a hammy Mel Gibson. Disney+ is in a particular IP rut, which isn’t surprising. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Oct. 2023 The artist gleaned from the 47 paintings and almost as many prints in this exhibition is not just the godfather of figurative Expressionism — despite the show’s rather hammy title. Roberta Smith, New York Times, 27 July 2023 Yet Bennett and pianist Ralph Sharon strip away any and all rococo folderol to get to the meat of rejection with their spare, cutting (yet still happily hammy) rendition. A.d. Amorosi, Variety, 21 July 2023 Then again, Mikkelsen doesn’t necessarily have the hammy vitality to capitalize on a role like this. Tom Gliatto, Peoplemag, 30 June 2023 Motivated by a thirst for revenge explained during the opening sequence, Momoa’s characterization owes a debt to the Joker (perhaps wanting to evoke Nicholson or Ledger, but more Cesar Romero), unleashing a hammy tidal wave that’s generally more cringy than amusing. Brian Lowry, CNN, 17 May 2023 Skull Island, directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts and released in 2017, riffed on Apocalypse Now; the film was set at the end of the Vietnam War and featured a particularly hammy performance from Samuel L. Jackson as a Colonel Kurtz–like figure driven mad. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, 31 Mar. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hammy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1929, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hammy was in 1929

Dictionary Entries Near hammy

Cite this Entry

“Hammy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hammy. Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

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