ham·​my | \ ˈha-mē How to pronounce hammy (audio) \
hammier; hammiest

Definition of hammy

: marked by exaggerated and usually self-conscious theatricality

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Other Words from hammy

hammily \ ˈha-​mə-​lē How to pronounce hammily (audio) \ adverb
hamminess \ ˈha-​mē-​nəs How to pronounce hamminess (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for hammy


dramatic, histrionic, melodramatic, stagy (or stagey), theatrical (also theatric)



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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

The adaptation of one of the weirder Marvel brands did everything wrong, from its garish costumes to its hammy dialogue to its terrible special effects. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "11 Marvel TV shows, definitively ranked (including 'Cloak and Dagger')," 11 June 2018 The rest is covered by convincing if somewhat hammy digital effects work, and on scenes set months earlier, on Tahiti, from the couple’s recent past. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "'Adrift' review: Trouble off Tahiti with Shailene Woodley, Sam Claflin and a hurricane," 31 May 2018 Rhett himself is a fine showman, adept at engaging a crowd without going too hammy. Joey Guerra, Houston Chronicle, "Thomas Rhett brings a pop of country to RodeoHouston," 7 Mar. 2018 Playing the actor-villain Phoenix Buchanan, Hugh Grant gives a marvelously hammy performance that reminded me of Ronald Colman in George Cukor’s A Double Life (1947). Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader, "Animals / Film In praise of the acting in Paddington 2," 31 Jan. 2018 Wright’s restlessness can be off-putting, but his technique feels like a reasonable match here for the high-stakes subject matter, and the heightened (but not hammy) pitch of the performances. Gary Thompson, Philly.com, "'Darkest Hour': Gary Oldman's unexpectedly bright and buoyant profile of Winston Churchill," 13 Dec. 2017 Translucent slices of delicately hammy Italian prosciutto or Spanish jamón serrano traditionally fill this space on the charcuterie board. Kyle Frischkorn, GQ, "A Big Charcuterie Plate Is the Best Thing to Bring to Any Holiday Party," 23 Dec. 2017 What makes The Twilight Zone so rich, and so necessary, isn’t its hammy narration or its uncanny visuals. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "Reimagining The Twilight Zone for the 21st Century," 20 Dec. 2017 By reminding the audience that King’s Landing and Dragonstone are actually very close together, Game of Thrones actually tells us a lot without resorting to a bunch of hammy exposition. Scott Meslow, GQ, "Game of Thrones," 14 Aug. 2017

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

1929, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near hammy

hammock netting







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Time Traveler for hammy

The first known use of hammy was in 1929

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More from Merriam-Webster on hammy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hammy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hammy

Comments on hammy

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