Definitions

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

  • n. A young sheep, especially one that is not yet weaned.
  • n. The flesh of a young sheep used as meat.
  • n. Lambskin.
  • n. A sweet, mild-mannered person; a dear.
  • n. One who can be duped or cheated especially in financial matters.
  • n. Christianity Jesus.
  • intransitive v. To give birth to a young sheep.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A young sheep, of up to one year of age.
  • n. The flesh of a lamb used as food.
  • n. A person who is meek, docile and easily led.
  • v. Of a sheep, to give birth.
  • v. To assist (sheep) to give birth.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The young of the sheep.
  • n. Any person who is as innocent or gentle as a lamb.
  • n. A simple, unsophisticated person; in the cant of the Stock Exchange, one who ignorantly speculates and is victimized.
  • intransitive v. To bring forth a lamb or lambs, as sheep.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To bring forth young, as sheep.
  • n. A young animal of the sheep kind; a young sheep.
  • n. A person gentle or innocent as a lamb.
  • n. Hence One easily beguiled or fleeced; an inexperienced speculator who is deceived into making losing investments.
  • n. Ironically, a ruffian or bully: as, Kirke's lambs (a troop of British soldiers noted for their atrocities in suppressing Monmouth's rebellion in 1685)

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

  • n. a sweet innocent mild-mannered person (especially a child)
  • v. give birth to a lamb
  • n. young sheep
  • n. English essayist (1775-1834)
  • n. a person easily deceived or cheated (especially in financial matters)
  • n. the flesh of a young domestic sheep eaten as food

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old English lamb, from Proto-Germanic *lambaz (compare Dutch lam, German Lamm, Swedish lamm), from Proto-Indo-European *h₁l̥h₁onbʰos (compare Scottish Gaelic lon ("elk"), Ancient Greek έλαφος (élaphos, "red deer")), enlargement of *h₁elh₁én. More at elk. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • Little lamb,
    Here I am;
    Come and lick
    My white neck;
    Let me pull
    Your soft wool;
    Let me kiss
    Your soft face:
    Merrily, merrily, we welcome in the year.

    - William Blake, 'Spring'.

    November 3, 2008