\ 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 Square, tame and tidy as the London-area house kept by Mirren’s primly elegant, creamy-complexioned septuagenarian, The Good Liar is a work of skill but little spark. Jon Frosch, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Good Liar': Film Review," 7 Nov. 2019 Aside from Kamala Harris’s takedown of Joe Biden, the first two Democratic debates were largely tame and respectful; with primary season heating up, there’s a desire for conflict. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Leave Elizabeth Warren Alone," 3 Sep. 2019 Obama is now seen as too tame compared with the several of the neo-socialist candidates. Victor Davis Hanson, The Mercury News, "Hanson: Will 2020 be a repeat of 2004 for Democrats?," 8 Aug. 2019 Everything here is so safe and tame and carefully calculated as to seem pre-digested. Joey Nolfi, EW.com, "Critics softly purr in favor of 'unnecessary' but 'gorgeous' Lion King remake," 11 July 2019 The movie, directed by Paul McGuigan, may be a bit tame and well-behaved for its subjects. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "'Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool' review: Annette Bening shines as a star in her final act," 11 Jan. 2018 Zidane's men started the season impressively, but have since fallen to two tame draws against Valladolid and Villarreal. SI.com, "Real Madrid vs Levante Preview: Where to Watch, Buy Tickets, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News," 10 Sep. 2019 Though frequently chuckle-worthy, this party is tame stuff, however offensive, and not the film's most revealing vantage point on the fast-fashion huckster played with brio by Steve Coogan. John Defore, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Greed': Film Review | TIFF 2019," 8 Sep. 2019 The picture that emerges, four years after what Manilow described with excitement as his final tour, is of a guy now putting on his bedazzled lion tamer’s jacket just to punch the clock. Los Angeles Times, "Barry Manilow lets the schmaltz do his talking at Hollywood Bowl," 8 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The six artists present their pain throughout their pieces, with the message clear that meditation is meant to tame these emotions. courant.com, "Community News For The Windham Edition," 8 Nov. 2019 What is more, break-ups alone will not suffice to tame big tech. The Economist, "Dismembering Big Tech," 24 Oct. 2019 They were installed to tame the rivers, provide water for agriculture and make the waterways navigable by barge to carry the huge harvests of wheat to market -- and those needs remain. Bill Weir And Rachel Clarke, CNN, "How a dead whale gave new life to the debate over dams in the Pacific Northwest," 22 Oct. 2019 Most activists who fought for black freedom dismissed liberalism as a white ideology designed to tame black people, not to free them. Steven Friedman, Quartz Africa, "Liberalism in South Africa isn’t only for white people—or black people who “want to be white”," 18 Oct. 2019 The work is a step towards having AI recognize what’s happening in video, perhaps helping to tame the vast amounts now being generated. Wired, "This Technique Can Make It Easier for AI to Understand Videos," 15 Oct. 2019 These explanations never convinced Emily, but the birth control pills she was prescribed did help tame her symptoms. Mary Claire Lagroue, SELF, "Why Is PCOS Still So Hard for Doctors to Understand?," 12 Sep. 2019 And while there are some staple beach bag products that can help tame tresses, there’s also an easy styling trick for combatting flyaways worth keeping in your back pocket. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Bella Hadid’s Simple Trick for Achieving Boat-Ready Hair," 27 May 2019 O'Hara and Dunn performed admirably at fullback, taming three of Europe's most vaunted attacks en route to the title. Avi Creditor, SI.com, "SI’s 24 USWNT Commemorative Digital Covers," 12 July 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

Statistics for tame

Last Updated

14 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for tame

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

See more words from the same century

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

the exactly right word or phrasing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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!