ham

noun (1)
\ ˈham How to pronounce ham (audio) \

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 : someone who enjoys performing and who tends to behave in an exaggerated or playful way when people are watching A bit of a ham, she's been collecting these one-liners for decades.— Elizabeth Rubin " … I was always sort of a ham. I talk a lot. I'm wild. I was always performing growing up … "— Pokey LaFarge
c : 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 How to pronounce Ham (audio) \

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

Spread 1 tablespoon on each wrap, then top with ham. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Spicy Bánh Mì Wraps," 2 July 2019 And that includes deli meat — whether red (like roast beef or ham) or white (like turkey or chicken). 2. Samantha Cassetty, NBC News, "What exactly is a processed meat? And how much is safe to eat?," 30 June 2019 Drinks are named for taglines from ads from the '50s, and the short snack menu includes homey party food like ham salad or salami roll-ups. Polly Campbell, Cincinnati.com, "Now open: Check out the new Homemaker's Bar in Over-the-Rhine," 19 June 2019 Pigs shuffle from one acorn (bellota) to another, foraging for the nutty flavor that gives Iberian ham its richness. Anne Farrar, National Geographic, "Here’s why everyone is going to Portugal now," 18 June 2019 Roger's volley of food begins with simple oysters; scallop crudo with crispy Iberico ham; baby heirloom tomato and tomato gelee; asparagus tempura with Romesco sauce; and steak tartare wrapped in an edible front page of the Houston Chronicle. Greg Morago, Houston Chronicle, "MAD: A sensory ambush arrives at River Oaks District," 19 June 2019 The hot sandwich is made with Tavern ham, rotisserie chicken, bacon, Swiss cheese slathered with Dijon mustard-mayo. Doreen Christensen, sun-sentinel.com, "Publix subs go on sale this week (plus how the Chicken Tender Sub was invented)," 11 June 2019 Mirage: Cravings Buffet What's on the menu: Eleven international cooking stations featuring champagne pancakes with chocolate creme; carving stations with ham, prime rib and turkey; chicken and waffles; pad Thai; tom yum soup; crab legs. Melissa Yeager, azcentral, "Best Las Vegas buffets: 22 all-you-can-eat restaurants on the Strip," 7 June 2019 The hams, the turkeys, the cash, were tokens of political love from the machine. John Kass, chicagotribune.com, "Kennedy invokes Harold Washington: Take Pritzker’s cash but give me your vote," 9 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Joel Grey hammed it up with a Southern accent as Jeff Sessions, and Jason Alexander, just because, killed in a Chris Christie cameo. Jeffrey Toobin, The New Yorker, "“It’s the End of My Presidency”: Movie Stars Channel Mueller," 1 July 2019 Developers Case Swenson and Chris Neale are also going to ham it up for the crowd, and comedian Will Durst will amp up the humor quotient. Sal Pizarro, The Mercury News, "San Jose’s iconic Dancing Pig sign restored to neon glory," 22 June 2019 The solution: combine the boys' limitless imaginations with their interest in art and fondness for hamming it up for the camera. Julia M. Chan, CNN, "Brothers with special needs star in a world without limits," 14 June 2019 The women held hands and hammed it up for the cameras. Lindzi Scharf, latimes.com, "Olivia Wilde, Storm Reid and more toast Face of the Future honoree Elizabeth Debicki," 12 June 2019 Frances McDormand McDormand was an absolute delight on the carpet, writhing around and hamming it up in her similarly bizarre-but-brilliant Valentino look. Maeve Mcdermott, USA TODAY, "Met Gala 2018: The most extra celebrity looks, from Sarah Jessica Parker to Katy Perry," 8 May 2018 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

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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Dictionary Entries near ham

halyard

Halyikwamai

Halysites

ham

Ham

Hama

hamada

Statistics for ham

Last Updated

18 Jul 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
disapproving : 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 How to pronounce ham (audio) \

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 How to pronounce ham (audio) \

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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