\ 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 Before going on the lam, Lydia had never considered why someone might be forced to leave their homeland. Lila Shapiro, Vulture, "Blurbed to Death," 5 Jan. 2021 On assignment years ago, some of her goats went on the lam. Konrad Putzier, WSJ, "Well-Employed in Pandemic Times: Landscaping Goats," 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, "For Black Folks, Luther Vandross Will Always and Forever Be Family," 15 Dec. 2020 Jean is forced to go on the lam in the empowering tale and finds an important support system in a fellow strong-willed wife (Marsha Stephanie Blake). Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "What to stream this weekend: Netflix's 'The Prom,' Michael Bay's COVID-19 movie 'Songbird'," 10 Dec. 2020 The suspect fled the scene in a purple Chevy Geo Tracker, and had been on the lam for four days. Howard Koplowitz |, al, "Alex City double-murder suspect in killings of mother, son captured," 4 Dec. 2020 Rachel Brosnahan stars as a woman who goes on the lam with her baby after her husband betrays his criminal partners in this thriller. Los Angeles Times, "Yes, Virginia, there are movies this holiday season. Here’s where to find them," 19 Nov. 2020 He shouldn’t be seated in a handsome chair waiting for the crown to be passed, or going out for ice cream in a mask like John Dillinger on the lam. Peggy Noonan, WSJ, "A Good Debate, and It’s Not Quite Over," 23 Oct. 2020 After two days on the lam, a woman labeled a person of interest in a Tuscaloosa homicide was found Thursday and charged with murder, authorities said. Howard Koplowitz |, al, "Person of interest in Tuscaloosa homicide found, charged with murder," 23 Oct. 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 6 Mar. 2021.

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lam

Nglish: Translation of lam for Spanish Speakers

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