tame

adjective
\ ˈtām How to pronounce tame (audio) \
tamer; tamest

Definition of tame

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : reduced from a state of native wildness especially so as to be tractable and useful to humans : domesticated tame animals
2 : made docile and submissive : subdued
3 : lacking spirit, zest, interest, or the capacity to excite : insipid a tame campaign

tame

verb
tamed; taming

Definition of tame (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to reduce from a wild to a domestic state
b : to subject to cultivation
c : to bring under control : harness
2 : to deprive of spirit : humble, subdue the once revolutionary … party, long since tamedThe Times Literary Supplement (London)
3 : to tone down : soften tamed the language in the play

intransitive verb

: to become tame

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Other Words from tame

Adjective

tamely adverb
tameness noun

Verb

tamable or tameable \ ˈtā-​mə-​bəl How to pronounce tameable (audio) \ adjective
tamer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for tame

Synonyms: Adjective

domestic, domesticated, tamed

Synonyms: Verb

bridle, check, constrain, contain, control, curb, govern, hold, inhibit, keep, measure, pull in, regulate, rein (in), restrain, rule

Antonyms: Adjective

feral, savage, undomesticated, untamed, wild

Antonyms: Verb

lose

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Examples of tame in a Sentence

Adjective

The island's birds are quite tame. They ran a pretty tame campaign. Some people were shocked by the movie, but I found the story pretty tame. Members of the audience were too tame to interrupt the speaker.

Verb

It took a while to tame the horse. the people who tamed the Wild West He struggled to tame his temper. The government needs to do something to tame inflation.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Today, her artistic antics seem innocuous and relatively tame, but, the film implies, the projects were viewed as publicity stunts and turned the art world against her. Chloe Schama, Vogue, "Kusama: Infinity Makes the Case for the Japanese Artist as a Feminist Force," 7 Sep. 2018 Compared to these concoctions a foundation made of lead, called ceruse, must have seemed downright tame. Serah-marie Mcmahon, Teen Vogue, "This New Book Is All About the Dark (And Sometimes Bloody) History of Fashion," 12 Apr. 2019 Advertising Literary events tend to be cheery but tame, intimate affairs. Tyrone Beason, The Seattle Times, "‘Who are you becoming?’ Why America needs Michelle Obama’s message now," 25 Mar. 2019 Supervised consumption sites take a tamer, but similar, harm-reduction approach. German Lopez, Vox, "A big, new review of the evidence finds that prescription heroin works," 6 Dec. 2018 But Ronaldo missed it, with Iran goalkeeper Ali Beiranvand holding his nerve, biding his time, and ultimately guessing correctly, moving to his left to hold onto the Real Madrid star’s tame effort. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Cristiano Ronaldo's missed penalty costs Portugal – and could haunt it forever," 25 June 2018 The same fate awaited 2014’s Boyhood, an even tamer film dinged for a bit of sailor talk, some mild birds-and-bees conversations, and scattered underage drinking and cannabis-smoking. Charles Bramesco, Vox, "Eighth Grade’s R rating deters actual 8th graders from seeing it. What a shame.," 18 July 2018 Pre-teething is generally pretty tame and may not even seem out of the ordinary. Karla Walsh, Woman's Day, "When Do Babies Start Teething?," 26 Feb. 2019 The only felid in Hawai`i are house cats, tame and feral, found in homes and yards and boat harbors and beach parks and deep in the backs of valleys and high on the summit of mountaintops and basically everywhere. Kim Steutermann Rogers, Smithsonian, "How the Tiniest of Parasites is Taking Down the Mightiest of Monk Seals," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Established center-right parties, such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, are looking to cooperate with some of their nativist challengers at EU level in the hope of taming them. Marcus Walker, WSJ, "EU Countries Face a Menu of Challenges," 20 Jan. 2019 For now, Goggins plans to become more involved working with the vexing problem of how to tame antibodies that could pose obstacles to a transplant. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "1 doctor, 2,000+ kidney transplants. If surgeons kept stats, he’d be LeBron James.," 26 Apr. 2018 First claimed by colonizers from indigenous people, the river has been tamed and spoiled by Western industrial civilization — and now, hopefully, modernity can return the River to some of its original splendor. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "The Death and Birth of the Los Angeles River," 21 May 2018 Slowing demand from China, together with an increase in supply, seems to have finally tamed the market. Jacky Wong, WSJ, "Time for Australian Banks to Lose Their Premium," 5 June 2018 Regulators then scramble to understand and tame the beast. The Economist, "Regulating virtual currencies and ICOs," 26 Apr. 2018 Tolerant of a wide variety of soils, Carolina Jessamine will require a bit of taming to keep it from consuming the garden fence, or clambering up the gutter. Molly Marquand, Good Housekeeping, "15 Native Wildflowers Every Gardener Should Plant," 5 May 2017 Our American ancestors braved the oceans, tame the wilderness, won a revolution and fought to victory in two world wars. Fox News, "Jordan, Meadows ask Trump to declassify Carter Page docs," 6 Sep. 2018 Here are the four best options for taming those unruly tomato plants: Stakes Install wood or rebar stakes at least 6 feet-tall at planting time. Doug Hall, Good Housekeeping, "The 4 Best Ways to Support Your Tomato Plants," 19 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tame.' 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 tame

Adjective

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

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for tame

Adjective

Middle English, from Old English tam; akin to Old High German zam tame, Latin domare to tame, Greek damnanai

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Dictionary Entries near tame

tamburello

tamburitza

tamburone

tame

tame cat

tame hay

tamein

Statistics for tame

Last Updated

2 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tame

The first known use of tame was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for tame

tame

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of tame

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not wild : trained to obey people
: not afraid of people
: not exciting or interesting

tame

verb

English Language Learners Definition of tame (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make (an animal) tame
: to make (something) less wild or difficult to control : to bring (something) under control

tame

adjective
\ ˈtām How to pronounce tame (audio) \
tamer; tamest

Kids Definition of tame

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : changed from the wild state so as to become useful and obedient to people : domestic a tame elephant
2 : not afraid of people The chipmunks at the park are very tame.
3 : not interesting : dull a tame movie

Other Words from tame

tamely adverb

tame

verb
tamed; taming

Kids Definition of tame (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make or become gentle or obedient They tamed the lion.

Other Words from tame

tamer noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on tame

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tame

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tame

Spanish Central: Translation of tame

Nglish: Translation of tame for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tame for Arabic Speakers

Comments on tame

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