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

Definition of lam

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

: to beat soundly : thrash

intransitive verb

1 : strike, thrash
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 The 29-year-old resident of Malden, Massachusetts, had been on the lam since the Feb. 6 slaying of Kevin Jiang, a second-year grad student at the Yale School of the Environment. Wilson Wong, NBC News, 14 May 2021 Meanwhile, India, the 9-month-old male tiger in question, is still on the lam. Abigail Rosenthal, Chron, 13 May 2021 The Albert Lea business owner who defied pandemic restrictions at her wine bar and has been on the lam was arrested Thursday. Matt Delong, Star Tribune, 30 Apr. 2021 This time, Allie Fox (Justin Theroux, who is Paul’s nephew) has forced his family to go on the lam because the American government has renewed its effort to capture him on an old — and to us, for much of the season, unknown — charge., 28 Apr. 2021 In the Nov 3, 2020, edition, seven out of the 10 ‘participants’ were not on the lam. Alessandro Marazzi Sassoon And Bobby Block,, 14 Mar. 2021 Before going on the lam, Lydia had never considered why someone might be forced to leave their homeland. Lila Shapiro, Vulture, 5 Jan. 2021 On assignment years ago, some of her goats went on the lam. Konrad Putzier, WSJ, 15 Dec. 2020 Among the many knowing moments where Black folks could really see themselves in last year’s Queen & Slim was a scene in which on-the-lam lovers Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) and Slim (Daniel Kaluuya) have a debate about Fat Luther versus Skinny Luther. Essence, 15 Dec. 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 17 Jun. 2021.

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lam

Nglish: Translation of lam for Spanish Speakers


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