\ 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 tameable (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 In its own deal with California, Ford agreed with the state to meet targets tougher than Mr. Trump’s proposal but still tamer than the Obama-era requirements. Andrew Restuccia, WSJ, "The Auto Industry Wanted Easier Environmental Rules. It Got Chaos.," 3 Feb. 2020 While the agenda for the meeting seems routine and tame, the tone of recent emails suggests things could be tense. David Jesse, Detroit Free Press, "Wayne State board infighting spills out in private email exchanges," 31 Jan. 2020 Or his divisive campaign tactics could deliver a victory on November 3, 2020, that will make his 2016 upset look tame by comparison. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "In one year, we'll know if Trump was a fluke or not," 3 Nov. 2019 But experts who track hate groups say the vandalism in Michigan is merely a tamer example of the larger, apocalyptic vision that members harbor: Their ideology supports a race war against minorities and the establishing of white ethno-states. NBC News, "What is The Base? FBI arrest of alleged white supremacists puts focus on extremist group," 17 Jan. 2020 Between a series of rather tame prompts came Cartelli inquiring about the host’s nightly bedtime routine. Benjamin Vanhoose, PEOPLE.com, "Kelly Clarkson Gets Candid About the Frequency of Her Sex Life: 'That's Natural'," 27 Dec. 2019 While the hyaluronic acid can hydrate the delicate under-eye area, caffeine and ruscus tame puffiness. Nicole Saunders, CNN Underscored, "The 20 best under-eye concealers, according to celebrity makeup artists," 26 Dec. 2019 Year-ahead price expectations were revised down to 2.3%, the tamest since the end of 2016, from a preliminary reading of 2.4%. Arkansas Online, "Consumer spending, income growth tick up; season’s spirits bright, analysts say," 21 Dec. 2019 Even the draw with Sheffield United at the London Stadium was a lame, tame affair. SI.com, "West Ham Should Not Sack Manuel Pellegrini - But He Must Stop Being Stubborn, Wake Up & Make Changes," 5 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb No one really tamed the LSU Tigers this past season, but Steele’s defense came close and put Auburn in position for the upset in Tiger Stadium. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, "Gus Malzahn has the pieces in place to win big at Auburn," 24 Jan. 2020 If barbed wire tamed the West, removing those fences restores landscape connectivity, making it a little bit wilder again. National Geographic, "Two visions collide amid push to restore Montana plains," 16 Jan. 2020 Beverly Hills tamed San Jacinto in the semifinals to reach the championship, while Thompson was knocking off Bondy. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Thompson earns 2 basketball titles, while Beverly Hills and Bondy win one each," 16 Jan. 2020 Its design tames the brand’s aggressive styling with mixed results. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "The 2020 Cadillac XT6 is good, but not nearly good enough (auto review)," 11 Jan. 2020 Even known kimchi-averse eaters seem to love this combo of tender pizza crust topped with Korean fermented cabbage that’s been tamed in butter until caramelized. Kim Sunée, Anchorage Daily News, "Caramelized kimchi breadsticks are an absolute crowd pleaser," 20 Dec. 2019 Kehlani Tsunamis can't be tamed, just as the magnitude of Kehlani's profoundness can't be quantified. Glendon Francis, Billboard, "12 Black LGBTQ Artists Who Shaped the 2010s," 18 Dec. 2019 If there is a lot of fraying on the cut edges, consider sewing two lines of stitching to help tame it. Vanessa Nirode, Popular Science, "Five simple fixes to keep your clothing around longer," 10 Jan. 2020 That does indeed sound dated compared to the current crop of hypercars, which boast megawatts of hybrid or electric power and gigahertz of processing power to tame it all. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Suction fans, a V12, and manual gears for Gordon Murray’s new car," 20 Dec. 2019

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

7 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tame.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tames. Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for tame

How to pronounce tame (audio)

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
\ 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tame

Spanish Central: Translation of 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

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!