Definitions

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

  • adj. Marked or characterized by overacting; affectedly humorous or dramatic.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Resembling ham.
  • adj. Amateurish; characterized by overacting.
  • n. Short for hamstring; a hamstring injury.
  • n. A hamster.

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

  • adj. affectedly dramatic; overacted

Etymologies

Derived from ham. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Some fun can be found in hammy supporting performances by Paul Bettany as the oleaginous Prime Minister Lord Melbourne and Jim Broadbent (sporting an absurd white wig) as the dying King William, Victoria’s predecessor.

    Current Movie Reviews, Independent Movies - Film Threat

  • Paul Staines aka hammy blogger Guido Fawkes aka Mr GuF has invented a piggy index for politicians.

    Archive 2008-02-10

  • If you tweak a hammy, which I have many times, pushing it only increases the chance of pulling it.

    Denver Post: News: Breaking: Local

  • The arguable brilliance of the casting choices comes from having so many comic actors and comedians cast as those straight men, avoiding any kind of hammy portrayals and giving entirely sincere performances.

    Rabid Rewind: The Informant

  • The scene where the venom symbiote comes to earth was just "hammy".

    Has Christopher Nolan Signed On For Dark Knight Sequel? | /Film

  • At some point everybody becomes a bit housebound, and at such times its nice to know that while the serial nature of the soap opera makes the acting seem quite "hammy", at least the scenery is worth checking out.

    "Gal" Friday! Melissa Archer

  • Jew with a beak; (2) the same without a beak; (3) the "hammy" Jew, with pink face like a _cochon-à-lait_.

    The Life of the Rt. Hon. Sir Charles W. Dilke, Volume 2

  • Brolin handily walks away with the movie, Assante's kind of hammy, Crowe is solid, and Denzel, magnetic as he is, never entirely convinces as either a hair-trigger madman or a seductive sociopath.

    Hollywood Elsewhere

  • I know what you're thinking: "This story seems like it could be kind of hammy and stupid, so I'm certainly glad they have noted models of restraint Danny DeVito, Will Arnett, Jon Heder, and Dax Shepard on board."

    NPR Topics: News

  • Better than SRK in the film (God, that was some 'hammy' performance) but only just.

    NAACHGAANA

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