Definitions

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

  • n. Any of various usually burrowing marine and freshwater bivalve mollusks of the class Pelecypoda, including members of the genera Venus and Mya, many of which are edible.
  • n. The soft edible body of such a mollusk.
  • n. Informal A close-mouthed person, especially one who can keep a secret.
  • n. Slang A dollar: set me back 75 clams.
  • intransitive v. To hunt for clams.
  • clam up Informal To refuse to talk.
  • n. A clamp or vise.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A bivalve mollusk of many kinds, especially those that are edible; as, the long clam (Mya arenaria), the quahog or round clam (Venus mercenaria), the sea clam or hen clam (Spisula solidissima), and other species of the United States. The name is said to have been given originally to the Tridacna gigas, a huge East Indian bivalve.
  • n. Strong pincers or forceps.
  • n. A kind of vise, usually of wood.
  • n. A dollar (usually used in the plural). Possibly originating from the term wampum.
  • n. A Scientologist.
  • v. To dig for clams.
  • v. To produce, in bellringing, a clam or clangor; to cause to clang.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A bivalve mollusk of many kinds, especially those that are edible. The name is said to have been given originally to the Tridacna gigas, a huge East Indian bivalve.
  • n. Strong pinchers or forceps.
  • n. A kind of vise, usually of wood.
  • transitive v. To clog, as with glutinous or viscous matter.
  • intransitive v. To be moist or glutinous; to stick; to adhere.
  • n. Claminess; moisture.
  • n. A crash or clangor made by ringing all the bells of a chime at once.
  • v. To produce, in bell ringing, a clam or clangor; to cause to clang.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A clamp (see clamp); in plural, forceps, pincers.
  • n. A stick laid across a stream of water to serve as a bridge.
  • n. A rat-trap.
  • To press together; compress; pinch.
  • To clog up; close by pressure; shut.
  • To castrate, as a bull or ram, by compression.
  • To rumple; crease.
  • To snatch.
  • To pinch with hunger; emaciate; starve.
  • To stick close.
  • To grope or grasp ineffectually.
  • To die of hunger; starve.
  • Sticky; viscous; clammy (which see).
  • Moist; thawing, as ice.
  • Vile; mean; unworthy.
  • To smear; daub; clog with glutinous or viscous matter.
  • To stick; glue.
  • To be glutinous; be cold and moist; be clammy.
  • n. Clamminess; the state or quality of having or conveying a cold moist feeling.
  • n. A name given in different localities to different bivalve mollusks.
  • n. A ringing of all the bells of a chime simultaneously; a clamor; a clangor.
  • To sound all the bells in a chime simultaneously.
  • See extract.
  • n. Same as clamp, n., 1.
  • n. An obsolete variant of clamb, old preterit of climb.
  • To gather clams; as, to go clamming.

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

  • n. a piece of paper money worth one dollar
  • v. gather clams, by digging in the sand by the ocean
  • n. flesh of either hard-shell or soft-shell clams
  • n. burrowing marine mollusk living on sand or mud; the shell closes with viselike firmness

Etymologies

From obsolete clam-shell, shell that clamps, clam, from clam2.
Middle English, from Old English clam, clamm, bond, fetter.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

Comments

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  • 'Happy as a clam at high tide' is an American East Coast (Maine) expression- meaning is clear, just picture the wide-smiling shell...
    Used by Sylvia Plath in Letters Home (December 14, 1962) - "here I am, in my favourite house in my favourite neighborhood, happy as a clam!"

    March 21, 2011

  • im eating clam chowder at this very moment

    August 18, 2009

  • In jazz music, to hit a clam = to play a wrong note (It. stecca).

    ...March of '76 was Thelonious Monk. There was a guy on the air doing that standard gibberish about Monk: "and Monk, playing the wrong notes on the piano, is able to create this kind of music....". Anyway, Monk called the Columbia switchboard, and the Columbia switchboard got in touch with me and said that Thelonious Monk had called to say that we should tell the guy on the air, "The piano ain't got no wrong notes."

    (A History of WKCR's Jazz Programming: An interview with Phil Schaap. Conducted, transcribed, and edited by Evan Spring. October 5th, 1992.
    Source)

    July 7, 2009

  • It will be lost on such an intellectual clam as you.
    --Mark Twain, 1871, Sketches

    November 8, 2007

  • scallop

    October 9, 2007

  • Clam-I-Am!

    October 9, 2007

  • ...clam...

    October 9, 2007

  • Clam!

    October 8, 2007

  • Clam.

    October 8, 2007

  • clam?

    October 7, 2007

  • October 6, 2007