\ 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

About 9,400 pounds of turkey, 6,250 pounds of stuffing and green beans, 4,688 pounds of cranberry sauce and yams, 32, 000 rolls, 650 pounds of gravy and 3,000 pumpkin pies were served. Vincent T. Davis, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio’s matriarch of annual Jimenez dinner left legacy of service," 6 June 2019 The chips, made from the Japanese mountain yam, were never crunchy and always needed more salt. New York Times, "Japanese Seafood Without the Painful Price Tag, at Wokuni," 22 May 2018 And at the Polynesian in Manhattan, a dash of ube extract made from purple yams lends a violet hue to a variation called the Commodore. Kara Newman, WSJ, "Shake Up the Daiquiri for Fall," 27 Sep. 2018 In pill form, wild yam has been used to treat gastrointestinal issues. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Some Scientists Say These Aphrodisiacs for Women Could Actually Boost Your Libido," 6 Aug. 2015 Last September, the partners flew to London to speak about yams at the Serpentine Galleries as part of its Radical Kitchen series. Howie Kahn, WSJ, "Ghetto Gastro Opens Labyrinth 1.1, Their New HQ in the Bronx," 7 Jan. 2019 The Nagasus renamed one of their signature rolls, oozing with baked salmon and mountain yam, the Mirai roll. Dylan Hernandez, latimes.com, "Olympic skater Mirai Nagasu was a familiar figure at her parents' Arcadia restaurant when she was growing up," 20 Feb. 2018 Therefore, the orange sweet potatoes are often mislabeled as yams in stores. Caroline Walder, Good Housekeeping, "Sweet Potatoes Are Officially One of the Best Carbs You Can Eat," 5 Mar. 2018 Most Kanaks subsistence-farm yams, taros, sweet potatoes and bananas. A. Odysseus Patrick, Washington Post, "A bit of France in the South Pacific votes this year on independence," 1 June 2018

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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Last Updated

18 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for yam

The first known use of yam was in 1657

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with yam

Spanish Central: Translation of 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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