\ ˈlam How to pronounce lam (audio) \
lammed; lamming

Definition of lam

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

: to beat soundly : thrash

intransitive verb

2 : to flee hastily : scram



Definition of lam (Entry 2 of 3)

: sudden or hurried flight especially from the law on the lam

Definition of Lam (Entry 3 of 3)


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Examples of lam in a Sentence

Verb let's lam out of this hellhole while there's still time Noun the prisoners were recaptured after only three days on the lam
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun With their car now an unwitting murder weapon — and the knowledge that the innocence of a brown-skinned couple covered in the blood of a dead man may not be breezily presumed — the pair panics, and goes on the lam. Leah Greenblatt,, "Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani are the best thing about hectic, loony The Lovebirds: Review," 20 May 2020 Samone sings mor lam, traditional music, for Lao New Year's at Wat Lao Thammaram, a Buddhist temple in north Phoenix. Priscilla Totiyapungprasert, azcentral, "From thum kao poon to turkey: How past meets present at one family's Thanksgiving table," 27 Nov. 2019 The life-imitating-art story of his flight from justice and viral hit while on the lam was the subject of an episode of the musical true crime podcast Disgraceland in May 2018. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, "Rapper Tay-K Found Guilty of Murder," 19 July 2019 After Zubek went on the lam following the discovery of the bodies, Hobbs told her Zubek was welcome to use his Jeep to get away. David Lazarus,, "He’s a crimefighter. He’s in a wheelchair. But to AAA, he’s just a rulebreaker," 18 June 2019 Photo: stephen lam/Reuters A second group of officials rejects this thinking. Nick Timiraos, WSJ, "The Fed’s Biggest Dilemma: Is the Booming Job Market a Problem?," 11 June 2018 That film, which stars Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith, follows two young black people who go on the lam together after their first date ends with the accidental killing of a police officer. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Lena Waithe and When Black Artists Make Mediocre Art," 6 Mar. 2020 Realizing that Tony will blame them for his son's death, Mickey and Jackie take it on the lam, taking Clover along with them. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Clover': Film Review," 11 Mar. 2020 Bulger terrorized Boston from the 1970s into the 1990s with a campaign of murder, extortion and drug trafficking, then spent 16 years on the lam after he was tipped to his pending arrest. USA TODAY, "Return of Alienstock, Mardi Gras hate crime, much ado about a hat: News from around our 50 states," 19 Feb. 2020

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


1595, in the meaning defined at transitive sense


circa 1897, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for lam


perhaps of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse lemja to thrash; akin to Old English lama lame

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Cite this Entry

“Lam.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Aug. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on lam

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lam

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lam

Nglish: Translation of lam for Spanish Speakers

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