lame

1 of 5

adjective

lamer; lamest
1
a
: having a body part and especially a limb so disabled as to impair freedom of movement
The accident left him lame for life.
b
: marked by stiffness and soreness
a lame shoulder
2
: lacking needful or desirable substance : weak, ineffectual
a lame excuse
3
slang : not being in the know : square
She's cool, but her boyfriend is so lame.
4
a
: inferior
a lame school
b
: contemptible, nasty
lame racist jokes
lamely adverb
lameness noun

lame

2 of 5

verb

lamed; laming

transitive verb

1
: to make lame : cripple
2
: to make weak or ineffective : disable

lame

3 of 5

noun (1)

slang
: a person who is not in the know : square

lame

4 of 5

noun (2)

1
: a thin plate especially of metal : lamina
2
lames plural : small overlapping steel plates joined to slide on one another (as in medieval armor)

lamé

5 of 5

noun (3)

la·​mé lä-ˈmā How to pronounce lamé (audio)
la-
: a brocaded clothing fabric made from any of various fibers combined with tinsel filling threads

Example Sentences

Adjective The horse had gone lame, and it grew lamer. The accident left him lame for life. He offered a lame apology for his actions. She's nice, but her boyfriend is really lame. Verb we were afraid that the horse would be lamed by its horrible fall

Word History

Etymology

Adjective, Verb, and Noun (1)

Middle English, from Old English lama; akin to Old High German lam lame, Lithuanian limti to break down

Noun (2)

Middle French, from Latin lamina

Noun (3)

French

First Known Use

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (1)

1959, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

circa 1586, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (3)

1922, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of lame was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near lame

Cite this Entry

“Lame.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lame. Accessed 7 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

lame 1 of 2

adjective

lamer; lamest
1
a
: having a body part and especially an arm or a leg disabled enough so as to be unable to get around without pain or difficulty
b
: being stiff and sore
a lame shoulder
2
: not very convincing : weak
a lame excuse
lamely adverb
lameness noun

lame

2 of 2

verb

lamed; laming
: to make lame

Medical Definition

lamer; lamest
: having a body part and especially a limb so disabled as to impair freedom of movement : physically disabled
lamely adverb
lameness noun

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