\ ˈyam How to pronounce yam (audio) \

Definition of yam

1 : the edible starchy tuberous root of various plants (genus Dioscorea of the family Dioscoreaceae) used as a staple food in tropical areas also : a plant producing yams
2 : a moist usually orange-fleshed sweet potato

Examples of yam in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Her mother did manage a far shorter visit, but with little time to gather the many ingredients for oku, a yam pepper soup offered to new moms after birth. Leanne Italie, chicagotribune.com, "Anxiety, confusion, terror, relief: Giving birth in pandemic," 16 Mar. 2021 Ube is a purple yam, used a lot in Asian, especially Filipino, desserts. cleveland, "Mason’s Creamery’s Helen Qin and Jesse Mason talk favorite dining choices: Five for Friday," 5 Nov. 2020 The interchangeable use of sweet potato and yam to refer to an orange tuber is understandable. Shaena Montanari, The Arizona Republic, "Are yams and sweet potatoes the same? 5 questions answered about the Thanksgiving favorite," 4 Nov. 2020 But the real wizardry that makes those advancements possible is being performed on a yam-shaped island that sits between them, geographically and politically. Raymond Zhong, New York Times, "In U.S.-China Tech Feud, Taiwan Feels Heat From Both Sides," 1 Oct. 2020 The idea of doing the same in human women became a reality when Djerassi and his small team successfully managed to get the hormone from that yam. Vicky Spratt, refinery29.com, "Hysterical Women: Why Is Hormonal Contraception Still Failing Us?," 10 Sep. 2020 Her father, Keba Konte, is the founder of Oakland’s Red Bay Coffee — a fast-growing company known for its candied yam lattes. Esther Mobley, SFChronicle.com, "An ambitious new Oakland liquor store is prioritizing BIPOC producers," 10 Aug. 2020 The Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment’s flavor is Purple Root for Domestic Workers, made with ube purple yam. Lauren Leazenby, chicagotribune.com, "JUSTice Cream offers sweet social justice model for nonprofits — and ice cream shops," 5 Aug. 2020 It's been really interesting having conversations with my mom about using Instacart to shop for things like yellow yam and green bananas. Brooke Henderson, Fortune, "Health experts on how to run errands safely during coronavirus," 30 July 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'yam.' 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 yam

1657, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for yam

earlier iname, from Portuguese inhame & Spanish ñame, of African origin; akin to Fulani nyami to eat

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Statistics for yam

Last Updated

9 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Yam.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yam. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for yam



English Language Learners Definition of yam

: a long, thick root of a tropical plant that has rough brown skin and usually white or yellow flesh and that is eaten as a vegetable


\ ˈyam How to pronounce yam (audio) \

Kids Definition of yam

1 : the starchy thick underground tuber of a climbing plant that is an important food in many tropical regions
2 : a sweet potato with a moist and usually orange flesh

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More from Merriam-Webster on yam

Nglish: Translation of yam for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of yam for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about yam

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