tame

adjective
\ˈtām \
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 \ adjective
tamer noun

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

Alessandro Michele’s Spring 2019 show for Gucci at Paris’s famous performance space Théâtre Le Palace was relatively tame. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Jane Birkin Performed at Gucci’s Spring 2019 Runway Show," 24 Sep. 2018 Inflation remains tame, and wages are modestly rising. Josh Mitchell, WSJ, "U.S. Consumer Confidence Drops in June," 26 June 2018 The rush of demand illustrates the challenge ahead for Chinese officials, who are seeking to tame house-price bubbles without tanking the entire economy. Bloomberg.com, "North Korea Border Town Is Now China’s Hottest Property Market," 9 May 2018 Turning inside his defender the German had the entire goal to aim for, but tapped a tame effort right into the hands of Hyun-Woo Cho. Nathan Hilditch, Pro Soccer USA, "South Korea 2-0 Germany: Champions curse strikes again as Germany exits World Cup," 27 June 2018 All other chicken wings instantly felt tame by comparison. Nick Kindelsperger, chicagotribune.com, "Forget Buffalo wings — Korean fried chicken is better," 22 Mar. 2018 Yet the company’s total sales has increased by a fairly tame 18% in that time frame. Charley Grant, WSJ, "What Is Ailing the Drug Industry?," 22 June 2018 However, the outlook of this year’s silly season appears to be tamer in terms of driver movement. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "IndyCar midseason review, part III: What's still to come," 17 June 2018 Does Harden feel upstaged by the 6-foot-6 forward when Tucker shines in a magenta suit, outrunning Harden’s comparatively tame millennial pink sweater? New York Times, "James Harden and P.J. Tucker: Name a More Iconic Fashion Playoff Duo," 22 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Knowing exactly how to handle your symptoms makes it a lot easier to tame your condition and go on with your day. Korin Miller, SELF, "7 Life Rules People With Asthma Should Always Follow," 18 Oct. 2018 Kaye even used Elnett on a toothbrush to tame flyaways as a finishing touch, while Van Ness fired off supportive comments about fan art of the Fab Five on Instagram. Vogue, "Watch Jonathan Van Ness Prep for His Instantly Iconic Red Carpet Moment at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards," 17 Sep. 2018 Will a regulated market be able to tame the risks of the drug better than prohibition has, particularly by keeping it away from children? German Lopez, Vox, "Why you shouldn’t dismiss the risk of marijuana addiction," 20 Aug. 2018 White made taming the Northern highbush berries in her woods her life’s work, and made American agricultural history in the process. Rachel Wharton, New York Times, "In the Shadow of the Blueberry Titans, Smaller Growers Thrive," 2 July 2018 The boosters of the free market, such as Trump’s chief economic adviser Gary Cohn, who accompanied the President to Davos, seemed to have tamed his desire for a trade war with China. Simon Shuster / Zurich, Time, "Steve Bannon Takes Trumpism to Europe and Gets a Rock Star's Welcome," 7 Mar. 2018 Los Angeles Times Pianist Jeremy Denk only slightly tamed his tendency for outlandish challenges and gave a recital focused on the theme of time at the Wallis Center for the Performing Arts. Laurie Ochoa, latimes.com, "Essential Arts & Culture: Glenda Jackson's scalpel, Laurie Anderson's multiverse, losing Laura Aguilar," 28 Apr. 2018 The lone cowboy taming the land with lasso and fortitude may fit the myth of the West, but the reality was quite different. Johnforristerross, Longreads, "Taming the Great American Desert," 2 July 2018 And other companies get tamed by getting turned into a public utility. Christopher Mims, WSJ, "Tech’s Titans Tiptoe Toward Monopoly," 31 May 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.

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

Dictionary Entries near tame

tamburello

tamburitza

tamburone

tame

tame cat

tame hay

tamein

Statistics for tame

Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

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

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 \
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

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

full of whispering sounds

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!