\ 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 The digging referred to here is the extraction of about 6,000 tonnes of wild yams. William Beinart, Quartz Africa, "The story of the pharma giant and the African yam," 10 Feb. 2020 Virginia fowl, chestnut stuffing, baked yams, and cauliflower with cheese – that Lincoln ate before he was shot at Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865. Peter Krouse, cleveland, "Scholar to explain why Abraham Lincoln chose Andrew Johnson as replacement running mate," 6 Feb. 2020 In the entree round, the judges are eager to find out if the chefs can wing it with squab, a young domestic pigeon, and the dessert round puzzle includes a wild pizza pie and purple tuber yam. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "This Louisville chef battles it out, again, on 'Chopped.' Does he have the skills to win?," 28 Jan. 2020 This applies to other mashed starchy tubers like sweet potatoes and yams. Anchorage Daily News, "The holiday foods you can and can’t carry on a plane, according to TSA," 19 Nov. 2019 It's colored a bright shade of purple with yam and coconut orgeat and flavored with pineapple. Tirion Morris, azcentral, "If you love the holidays, this is the downtown Phoenix bar you have to visit this winter," 5 Dec. 2019 Serve this with roasted yams and simple braised spinach for a Seriously Simple memorable meal. Anchorage Daily News, "Seriously Simple: A holiday taste in a bite," 26 Nov. 2019 Tables will overflow with family favorites and traditional dishes such as candied yams and green bean casserole. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Thanksgiving dinner: 5 of the least healthy holiday dishes," 24 Nov. 2019 Tables will overflow with family favorites and traditional dishes such as candied yams and green bean casserole. Nancy Clanton, chicagotribune.com, "5 of the least healthy holiday dishes," 21 Nov. 2019

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

26 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Yam.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yam. Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for yam


How to pronounce yam (audio)

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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