Definitions

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

  • adj. Brought from wildness into a domesticated or tractable state.
  • adj. Naturally unafraid; not timid: "The sea otter is gentle and relatively tame” ( Peter Matthiessen).
  • adj. Submissive; docile; fawning: tame obedience.
  • adj. Insipid; flat: a tame Christmas party.
  • adj. Sluggish; languid; inactive: a tame river.
  • transitive v. To make tractable; domesticate.
  • transitive v. To subdue or curb.
  • transitive v. To tone down; soften.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Not or no longer wild; domesticated
  • adj. Mild and well-behaved; accustomed to human contact
  • adj. Not exciting
  • adj. Capable of being represented as a finite closed polygonal chain.
  • v. to make something tame
  • v. to become tame

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Reduced from a state of native wildness and shyness; accustomed to man; domesticated; domestic.
  • adj. Crushed; subdued; depressed; spiritless.
  • adj. Deficient in spirit or animation; spiritless; dull; flat; insipid.
  • transitive v. To broach or enter upon; to taste, as a liquor; to divide; to distribute; to deal out.
  • transitive v. To reduce from a wild to a domestic state; to make gentle and familiar; to reclaim; to domesticate.
  • transitive v. To subdue; to conquer; to repress.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Reclaimed from wildness, savagery, or barbarism.
  • Of beasts, birds, etc.: Reclaimed from the feral condition or state of nature for the use or benefit of man; not wild; domesticated; made tractable.
  • Having lost or not exhibiting the usual characteristics of a wild animal, as ferocity, fear of man, and shyness: as, a tame wild cat; the wild ducks are quite tame this season; the bear seemed very tame.
  • Cultivated; improved: noting land, vegetable products, etc.
  • Submissive; spiritless; pusillanimous.
  • Sluggish; languid; dull; lacking earnestness, fervor, or ardor.
  • Deficient in interesting or striking qualities; uninspiring; insipid; flat: as, a tame description.
  • Ineffectual; impotent; inert.
  • Accommodated to one's habits; wonted; accustomed.
  • Feeble, vapid, prosy, prosaic.
  • To reclaim from a wild or savage state; overcome the natural ferocity or shyness of; make gentle and tractable; domesticate; break in, as a wild beast or bird.
  • To subdue; curb; reduce to submission.
  • To destroy; kill.
  • To deprive of courage, spirit, ardor, or animation.
  • To make subdued in color or luster; soften; relieve; tone down.
  • To open; broach.
  • To divide; deal out; formerly, to cut; carve.

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

  • adj. very restrained or quiet
  • v. correct by punishment or discipline
  • adj. very docile
  • adj. flat and uninspiring
  • v. make fit for cultivation, domestic life, and service to humans
  • adj. brought from wildness into a domesticated state
  • v. adapt (a wild plant or unclaimed land) to the environment
  • v. make less strong or intense; soften
  • v. overcome the wildness of; make docile and tractable

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English tam; see demə- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old English tam (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Sonika Singh started making hand-painted sneakers as gifts for friends at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, Calif., embellishing them with what she calls "tame graffiti."

    Who's the Boss? When Jobs Are Scarce, the Kids Are

  • At the farm in Middle Tennessee, they also had some chestnuts, which she called tame chestnuts.

    One year in NYC

  • Before long he had become what we call tame -- that is to say, his wings had been clipped; he was allowed out of his cage, because he could no longer fly away, and he sang when he was told, because he was whipped if he did not.

    The Blue Moon

  • "It all depends upon what you call tame, Mr. Bramshaw," was the somewhat sarcastic reply.

    Under Sealed Orders

  • They have one small, ugly, yellow-coloured bull, which they call tame, and which the _mozos_ ride familiarly.

    Life in Mexico

  • In terms of the character of the master/journeyman/apprentice, what you get -- as a cost of removing writing from the hurly-burly world of rude market principles -- is a certain tame, politically correct liberalism (universally in effect throughout the American creative writing guild now), which makes appropriate, but extremely subdued, noises about political depredations.

    Anis Shivani: Creative Writing Programs: Is The MFA System Corrupt And Undemocratic?

  • I love the over-the-top Beetlejuice-at-the-Ascot Gavotte statement gown (and hat!), and the ready-to-wear look, while relatively tame, is flattering, kicky, and still totally Mondo.

    Una LaMarche: Project Runway Episode 9 Recap: Eyeshadow of a Doubt

  • Wild landscapes and wild weather, singly or together, create moments of great drama, exhilaration, liberation, even here in tame old Britain.

    Brian Ruckley · Samurai, Rain, Dinosaurs & Cake

  • [17] — & the answer to it will shew — how tame is Reason when compared with Feeling.

    Letter 149

  • Kubrick doesn't necessarily like Dr. Bill, and he doesn't necessarily want us to like him either; Bill is very sheltered and sexually tame, which is why his wife's rather ordinary revelation sends such a shock through his ordered existence.

    Films I Love #14: Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick, 1999)

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