Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The thigh of the hind leg of certain animals, especially a hog.
  • n. A cut of meat from the thigh of a hog.
  • n. The back of the knee.
  • n. The back of the thigh.
  • n. The buttocks.
  • n. A performer who overacts or exaggerates.
  • n. A licensed amateur radio operator.
  • intransitive v. To overact.
  • transitive v. To exaggerate or overdo (a dramatic role, for example).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The region back of the knee joint; the popliteal space; the hock.
  • n. The thigh and buttock of any animal slaughtered for meat.
  • n. The thigh of a hog cured for food.
  • n. The back of the thigh.
  • n. Electronic mail that is wanted; mail that is not spam, or junk mail
  • n. Archaic spelling of home.
  • n. An overacting or amateurish performer; an actor with an especially showy or exaggerated style.
  • n. An amateur radio operator.
  • v. To overact; to act with exaggerated emotions.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Home.
  • n. The region back of the knee joint; the popliteal space; the hock.
  • n. The thigh of any animal; especially, the thigh of a hog cured by salting and smoking.
  • n. a person who performs in a showy or exaggerated style; -- used especially of actors. Also used attributively, .
  • n. The licensed operator of an amateur radio station.
  • intransitive v. To act with exaggerated voice and gestures; to overact.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The back of the thigh; the thigh as a whole; in the plural, the gluteal region; the buttocks.
  • n. In anatomy, specifically, the back of the knee; the lozenge-shaped area behind the knee, bounded by the hamstrings and heads of the calf-muscles, technically called the popliteal space.
  • n. The thigh of an animal slaughtered for food; particularly, the thigh of a hog salted and cured or dried in smoke.
  • n. An obsolete (Middle English and Anglo-Saxon) form of home.
  • n. In historical use, with reference to the Anglo-Saxon period, a village or town; more specifically, a manor or private estate with a community of serfs upon it: much used in compound local names, as in Birmingham, Nottingham.
  • n. A stinted common pasture for cows.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (Old Testament) son of Noah
  • n. meat cut from the thigh of a hog (usually smoked)
  • n. an unskilled actor who overacts
  • n. a licensed amateur radio operator
  • v. exaggerate one's acting

Etymologies

Middle English hamme, from Old English hamm. N., senses 6 and 7, possibly from ham-fatter, a poor or amateurish actor.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English hamme, from Old English hamm ("inner or hind part of the knee, ham"), from Proto-Germanic *hamō, *hammō, *hanmō , from Proto-Indo-European *kanam-, *knāmā (“thigh, shin”). Cognate with Dutch ham ("ham"), dialectal German Hamme ("hind part of the knee, ham"), dialectal Swedish ham ("the hind part of the knee"), Icelandic höm ("the ham or haunch of a horse"), Middle Irish cnáim ("bone"), Ancient Greek  (knḗmé, "shinbone"). Compare gammon. (Wiktionary)
From Old English hām. (Wiktionary)
Shortened from hamfatter ("inferior actor"), said to derive from the 1863 minstrel show song The Ham-fat Man. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • Email that is not spam; non-spam. (Source)

    March 30, 2011

  • "6. A stinted common pasture for cows."

    --Century Dictionary

    March 9, 2011

  • Dwelling, home, village, &/or estate. Old English

    July 17, 2009

  • A town hear Sandwich, Kent, England.

    January 1, 2008