\ 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

Not all nigiri are fish; one non-fish entry, tamagoyaki, combined egg, shrimp and yam, all ground up into a paste and cooked into a kind of cubed omelet. Rand Richards Cooper, courant.com, "Review: Regal dining at Feng Chophouse in Hartford (but for a king’s ransom)," 8 Aug. 2019 And the roasted baby yams are a delight, tossed with a smoky brown butter and ancho chile vinaigrette before being plied with the sweet sting of i’itoi onions. Dominic Armato, azcentral, "The best restaurants in Scottsdale and Paradise Valley," 1 July 2019 The Bells have preferred orders — ribs and the occasional side of collard greens, candied yams or macaroni and cheese for Evelyn, a rib sandwich for Carrie. SFChronicle.com, "In Oakland’s Laurel District, barbecue’s past collides with its present," 2 July 2019 In 1951, Syntex announced that scientists working under him had synthesized cortisone, a steroid hormone that reduces inflammation, using inedible yams found in Mexico. Emily Langer, Washington Post, "George Rosenkranz, a creator of the birth control pill, dies at 102," 24 June 2019 An iced latte made with an extract of ube, aka purple yam, is a Cafe Phin signature. Eleanore Park, WSJ, "Vietnamese Coffee: So Hot Right Now," 20 June 2019 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

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

13 Aug 2019

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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

Comments on yam

What made you want to look up yam? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to shake or wave menacingly

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