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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from tame

Adjective

tamely adverb
tameness noun

Verb

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for tame

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective An offseason that looked fairly tame in August took a couple wild turns with teams taking serious chances, investing in experience, with some growing and others slimming down. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, "IndyCar report cards: Insider grades all 10 teams' off-seasons," 11 Apr. 2021 And while many boars have become almost tame in their behavior around humans, eating food from residents’ hands, some are still highly aggressive, particularly when with their young. New York Times, "Where Boars Hog the Streets," 9 Apr. 2021 For something more tame, make a beeline for Retro Boat Rentals in Saugatuck, Michigan. Sarah Sekula, USA TODAY, "Cool ways to get out on the water this spring: Bioluminescent kayak tours in Florida, fliteboarding in Hawaii," 29 Mar. 2021 Ebony Northern said heavy rain started pouring around midnight and a normally tame creek running through her Nashville apartment complex swiftly rose. BostonGlobe.com, "Record rains cause flash flooding in Tennessee; 4 dead," 28 Mar. 2021 Ebony Northern said heavy rain started pouring around midnight and a normally tame creek running through her Nashville apartment complex swiftly rose. Time, "Flash Flooding in Tennessee Leaves 4 Dead After Record Rains," 28 Mar. 2021 People from all over the country are moving to Houston, Texas in droves, and many transplants to the area are quick to admit our tame winters were an important part of their decision. Landon Pemper, Chron, "The best outdoor projectors and screens to create your own outdoor movie night in Houston," 15 Mar. 2021 Plus, President Biden is a comparatively tame story. Brian Stelter, CNN, "Newsmax's post-election ratings bonanza is over. What now?," 11 Mar. 2021 It’s looking sunny, with tame northeasterly breezes mainly under 10 mph. Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Final showers exit quick this morning, then another sunny stretch gets underway," 19 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Argan oil is a high-fat oil that can tame frizz and treat split ends, especially for those with wavy or curly hair. Sydney Poe, chicagotribune.com, "The best cheap shampoo," 23 Mar. 2021 Inside those cubicles, hundreds of thousands of Michiganders will get COVID-19 vaccines over the next eight weeks in a massive effort to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible to tame the coronavirus pandemic. Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit's Ford Field begins vaccine clinic transformation: What it's like inside," 18 Mar. 2021 As General Manager and CEO of Clackamas River Water, Lee guided a cultural shift to reorganize the agency and tame its overreaching board of directors. The Skanner, oregonlive, "Longtime public official Lee Moore Sr., former chairman of Home Forward board, dies," 6 Mar. 2021 Researchers and doctors say the vaccines offer the best chance to tame a global pandemic that in the past year has killed more than 511,000 Americans, including more than 5,400 in Arkansas, according to federal and state health agencies. Lisa Hammersly, Arkansas Online, "Rollout of shots in state at a snail's pace in places," 28 Feb. 2021 Regulators will soon decide whether the tradeoffs are worth it as the U.S. tries to tame the pandemic that’s already killed more than 500,000 Americans. Thuc Nhi Nguyen Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Coronavirus Today: Double duty for day-care workers," 24 Feb. 2021 Many economists expect China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China, to tame the pace of new credit issuance rather than raise key interest rates, which would risk attracting speculative money inflows that can fuel dangerous asset bubbles. Stella Yifan Xie, WSJ, "China Becomes First Major Economy to Start Withdrawing Pandemic Stimulus Efforts," 14 Mar. 2021 Thankfully, though, if stubborn variants do circulate, new vaccines should be able to tame them relatively quickly. Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic, "The Next Four Seasons of Pandemic Life," 22 Feb. 2021 Chinese authorities have already taken several measures to tame the currency’s rise. Stella Yifan Xie, WSJ, "China Lets Yuan Rise Steadily, Pressuring Exporters," 25 Feb. 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tame

Time Traveler for tame

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for tame

Last Updated

20 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tame.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tame. Accessed 21 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on tame

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tame

Nglish: Translation of tame for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tame for Arabic Speakers

Comments on tame

What made you want to look up tame? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!