\ 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 After about two weeks on the lam, Meteor was struck by a vehicle on Route 29 and euthanized. Washington Post, "A yak escaped a butcher and gained Internet fame. It’s the latest struggle for his former tech worker owner.," 22 Oct. 2019 Hermano Gabriel Joseph, 28, was arrested Tuesday at 17 Hamilton St. in Brockton after 10 months on the lam, Boston police announced., "House passes college closure bill," 3 Oct. 2019 Investigator Jack Reacher goes on the lam to uncover the truth behind a major government conspiracy that involves the death of U.S. soldiers. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 15, 2019: ‘Alien,’ ‘Aliens’ and more," 13 Sep. 2019 Evans, who wasn’t arrested until more than two months following the incident after going on the lam, had originally been charged with one count of first-degree murder. John Aguilar, The Denver Post, "Man convicted of fatally stabbing teen on Colfax sentenced to 40 years in prison," 13 Sep. 2019 The married murder suspects who escaped from a prison van last month have been recaptured after more than two weeks on the lam, reports CBS Tucson, Arizona affiliate KOLD-TV. CBS News, "Married murder suspects Blane and Susan Barksdale recaptured after 16 days in hiding," 12 Sep. 2019 In April this year, a genius student wanted for killing his mother was caught after being on the lam for almost four years. Anna Fifield, Washington Post, "Chinese police sniff out a fugitive — literally — in the case of the telltale hot pot," 12 Sep. 2019 Nicolas Cage's first-edition Batman comic is also still on the lam, although the LAPD did recover his first-edition Superman in a storage locker in 2011. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Help Find the Owners of More Than 100 Recovered Artworks," 6 Sep. 2019 Although the great Marcello Mastroianni delivers a stellar performance as a Chaplinesque conspirator on the lam, working-class solidarity is the theme. New York Times, "9 Movies About Work to Watch This Labor Day," 29 Aug. 2019

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.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 November 2019.

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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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