\ 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)


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: Verb Ryan Gosling stars as Court Gentry, a CIA agent forced to lam it after uncovering some secrets. Tim Chan, Rolling Stone, 5 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun On the federal level, she’s been charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution after spending 43 days on the lam while named in a murder warrant. Michael Ruiz, Fox News, 6 July 2022 McCluskey was convinced Chadwick was getting help while on the lam. Tracy Smith, CBS News, 2 July 2022 Two boys went on the lam and did not return to class after recess. cleveland, 9 June 2022 On the latest episode of Soccer Made in Portland, with co-host Chris Rifer on the lam, Oregonian/OregonLive beat writer Ryan Clarke interviews Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese. oregonlive, 9 June 2022 In the first episode, which begins with victim No. 1, Chrissy (Grace Van Dien) and ultimately leads to new highschooler Eddie (Joseph Quinn) going on the lam, what viewers hear is a standard grandfather clock. Jackie Strause, The Hollywood Reporter, 7 June 2022 To Prokofiev’s ornithological menagerie, which includes a little bird and a duck, Mizrahi has added an ostrich on the lam from the local zoo. The New Yorker, 27 May 2022 Abdullah had been on the lam since the Sunday morning shooting on the train’s last car. Kevin L. Clark, Essence, 26 May 2022 Sole defendant Salah Abdeslam was arrested in Belgium after five months on the lam. Althea Legaspi, Rolling Stone, 17 May 2022 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

17 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Lam.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on lam

Nglish: Translation of lam for Spanish Speakers


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