\ ˈkram How to pronounce cram (audio) \
crammed; cramming

Definition of cram

 (Entry 1 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : to pack tight : jam cram a suitcase with clothes a novel crammed with surprises
2a : to fill with food to satiety : stuff
b : to eat voraciously : bolt the child crams her food
3 : to thrust in or as if in a rough or forceful manner crammed the letters into his pocket
4 : to prepare hastily for an examination cram the students for the test

intransitive verb

1 : to eat greedily or to satiety : stuff
2 : to study a subject intensively especially for an imminent examination



Definition of cram (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : a compressed multitude or crowd : crush
2 : last-minute study especially for an examination


biographical name (1)
\ ˈkram How to pronounce Cram (audio) \

Definition of Cram (Entry 3 of 4)

Donald James 1919–2001 American chemist


biographical name (2)

Definition of Cram (Entry 4 of 4)

Ralph Adams 1863–1942 American architect and author

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Other Words from cram


crammer noun

Synonyms for cram

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of cram in a Sentence

Verb He crammed the suitcase with his clothes. Before the trip I crammed my head with information about Spain. Noun battling the rush-hour cram in the subway
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb On the first Saturday of every month, my wife, daughter and I cram into a tiny bar in Manhattan's East Village with a few dozen other obsessives, some, like me, slinging guitars. Jere Hester, CNN, 11 Oct. 2021 Tension will cram it by 6:37 p.m. Friday for a clash everyone felt coming. Los Angeles Times, 7 Oct. 2021 Can the eldest daughter cram a boyfriend into her crazy family life after the death of her mother? Rashad Grove, Forbes, 28 Sep. 2021 On Derby day, about 170,000 spectators, who pay at least around $400 for a reserved seat, cram into the largest non-auto racing sports venue in the country. Washington Post, 22 Sep. 2021 The crew of Inspiration4 has had to cram all its training into six months, while basic astronaut training takes two years at NASA. John Mccarthy, USA TODAY, 10 Sep. 2021 There are International Baccalaureate exams to cram for, community service requirements to meet, cross-country practices to squeeze in, learner’s permits to get, friends to see in person. Raheem Hosseini, San Francisco Chronicle, 10 Sep. 2021 Does that hold true for the 60K-plus fans expected to cram into PBS shoulder to shoulder a week from Sunday, for the Bengals opener? Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, 1 Sep. 2021 National teams, meanwhile, have to cram tournament prep into a matter of weeks. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, 25 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun One of the aforementioned bad decisions takes the gooey center of a cinnamon roll, and dunks it in funnel cake batter before deep-frying it and topping it with powdered sugar and cram cheese icing for a super sweet treat. Cheryl V. Jackson, The Indianapolis Star, 30 July 2021 This has created a thriving industry of cram schools to help students get ahead. Quentin Webb, WSJ, 26 July 2021 That can be the most difficult part, Ms. Karni said: the ability to pivot and to be prepared to speak on any pressing topic after a 15-minute cram session on the car ride over. New York Times, 10 July 2021 Order pizza and have some of your classmates over for a cram sesh before the first big test. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, 7 July 2021 The ministry has also enacted new restrictions on homework loads for elementary and junior high schools, instituted a new licensing regime for teachers at private cram schools and laid out detailed guidelines for after-school activities. Keith Zhai, WSJ, 24 June 2021 On the one hand, the demand for cram schools won’t fade, as the root cause is anxiety created by the narrow funnel of the education system: a focus on examinations and strong competition for places. Jacky Wong, WSJ, 17 May 2021 Israel’s airstrikes have also stopped all Covid-19 vaccinations and virus testing in the Palestinian enclave and raised the risk of viral contagion as civilians cram into shelters for safety, U.N. officials said. New York Times, 16 May 2021 The company has study guides for every unit in all 38 AP subjects, hosts a Discord server for students to study and livestream cram sessions. Sarah Hauer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 21 Apr. 2021

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1810, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cram


Middle English crammen, from Old English crammian; akin to Old Norse kremja to squeeze

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Time Traveler for cram

Time Traveler

The first known use of cram was before the 12th century

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Last Updated

21 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cram.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for cram



English Language Learners Definition of cram

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to fill (something) so that there is no room for anything else : to fill (something) completely
: to push or force (someone or something) into a space that is tight or crowded
: to push or force yourself into a space that is tight or crowded



English Language Learners Definition of cram (Entry 2 of 2)

: a quick period of study in order to learn a lot of information quickly for a test, exam, etc.


\ ˈkram How to pronounce cram (audio) \
crammed; cramming

Kids Definition of cram

1 : to stuff or pack tightly … oh, the joy of being able to cram large pieces of something sweet … into one's mouth!— Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
2 : to fill full I crammed my suitcase with clothes.
3 : to study hard just before a test

More from Merriam-Webster on cram

Nglish: Translation of cram for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cram for Arabic Speakers


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