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

Though forecasters are calling for a relatively tame storm compared with Maria, Puerto Rican officials are preparing for all scenarios. Amy Gordon, Washington Post, "Tropical Storm Dorian moving toward a fragile Puerto Rico," 28 Aug. 2019 At first, the teams remained separated and relatively tame. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, "Benches clear as Dodgers’ frustrations mount after extra-innings loss," 10 Aug. 2019 Wednesday night's crowd stands in contrast to Tuesday's relatively tame audience, many of whom left early. Anna Bauman, Detroit Free Press, "'Fire Pantaleo' chant interrupts Cory Booker opening remarks at presidential debate," 1 Aug. 2019 From the seas of Antarctica to the depths of your freezer, most ice on Earth is relatively tame stuff. National Geographic, "Bizarre form of hot ice seen on Earth," 8 May 2019 In her tamer moments, Neilson wrote children’s books. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "Annabelle Neilson, Fashion Muse and Ladies of London Star, Is Dead at 49," 16 July 2018 The first half was incredibly tame, with a youthful Arsenal side struggling to create any chances. SI.com, "Newcastle 0-1 Arsenal: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Gunners Kick Off Season With Away Win," 11 Aug. 2019 By similar standards, British people see Americans as nice but tame, and a little fake. Lou Stoppard, The New Yorker, "The Glorious Depravity of the British “Love Island”," 10 Aug. 2019 Fanny, tamer in look and sound than the Runaways, was one of the first all-female bands to sign with a major record company (along with Goldie & the Gingerbreads and the Pleasure Seekers, featuring the Quatro sisters), signing with Reprise in 1969. Katherine Turman, Los Angeles Times, "How two fearless rock pioneers survived the ’70s and found each other four decades later," 25 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Contrast that with the early 1980s, when two recessions followed then-Federal Reserve Chair Paul Volcker's successful but costly efforts to tame double-digit inflation by increasing interest rates. oregonlive.com, "Here’s what the data say about how bad the next recession will be," 17 Aug. 2019 That’s why many of the U.S. Navy’s hurricane hunter planes were in Puerto Rico trying to tame Hurricane Debbie with doses of silver iodide while Camille seethed in the Gulf of Mexico. Kimberly Miller, sun-sentinel.com, "Hurricane Camille and the turbulent, violent 1969 storm season still have mysteries," 17 Aug. 2019 Conflating captive and often tamed wildlife with genuinely wild animals can lead to unexpected conflict when someone ventures into wilderness spaces like Yellowstone. Ali Wunderman, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why People Keep Trying to Pet Animals at National Parks," 7 Aug. 2019 But it has been tamed: its path has been shortened and straightened; its southernmost thousand miles are sheathed in an intricate system of locks and levees, and now ninety percent of its old floodplain stands dry. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "On a Wild Patch of Mississippi Soil," 14 Aug. 2019 Summer months are best, and though midges are a pest, they can be tamed with bug spray and a light breeze. Danielle Bernabe, National Geographic, "Visit a wild and beautiful Scottish island owned by its residents," 26 Apr. 2019 There’s a lyrical quality to Sanz’s work, lusty flavors tamed with careful technique to create something that feels almost seductive. Dominic Armato, azcentral, "The best restaurants in Scottsdale and Paradise Valley," 1 July 2019 The ruling addresses the way election districts are redrawn once every decade in most states – a system dominated by political self-interest that has grown more intense every time the Supreme Court declined to tame it. USA TODAY, "Supreme Court allows partisan election maps, gerrymandering in North Carolina, Maryland," 27 June 2019 But Johnson graphs can be handled fairly easily by other methods, so by showing that these graphs are the only obstacle to his painting scheme, Babai was able to tame them. Quanta Magazine, "Landmark Algorithm Breaks 30-Year Impasse," 14 Dec. 2015

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

5 Sep 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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