Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun One of a pair of vertical posts or pieces that together form the sides of a door, window frame, or fireplace, for example.
  • noun A projecting mass or columnar part.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • An obsolete spelling of jam.
  • noun A leg.
  • noun The side or cheek of a helmet or shield.
  • noun In architecture, a side or vertical piece of any opening or aperture in a wall, such as a door, window, or chimney, which helps to bear the lintel or other member overhead serving to sustain or discharge the superincumbent weight of the wall.
  • noun In mining, a mass of mineral or stone in a quarry or pit standing upright, and more or less distinct from neighboring or adjoining parts. Also spelled jam.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Arch) The vertical side of any opening, as a door or fireplace; hence, less properly, any narrow vertical surface of wall, as the of a chimney-breast or of a pier, as distinguished from its face.
  • noun (Mining) Any thick mass of rock which prevents miners from following the lode or vein.
  • transitive verb See jam, v. t. & i.
  • noun See jambes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun architecture The vertical components that form the sides of a door frame, window frame, or fireplace, or other opening in a wall.

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

  • noun upright consisting of a vertical side member of a door or window frame

Etymologies

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

[Middle English jambe, from Old French, leg, jamb, from Late Latin gamba, horse's hock, leg; see gambol.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English jambe, from Middle French jambe ("leg"), from Late Latin gamba

Examples

  • Kennedy adds that the "jamb" in the French was so thick that the men could not bring down their arms or level a musket, and the Dragoons rode in the intervals between their formation, reaching forward with the stroke of their long swords, and slaying at will.

    Deeds that Won the Empire Historic Battle Scenes

  • The "jamb" is the upright or side member; the "lintel" is the cross member of the doorway.

    Conservapedia - Recent changes [en]

  • The "jamb" is the upright or side member; the "lintel" is the cross member of the doorway.

    Conservapedia - Recent changes [en]

  • The "jamb" is the upright or side member; the "lintel" is the cross member of the doorway.

    Conservapedia - Recent changes [en]

  • The "jamb" is the upright or side member; the "lintel" is the cross member of the doorway.

    Conservapedia - Recent changes [en]

  • The "jamb" is the upright or side member; the "lintel" is the cross member of the doorway.

    Conservapedia - Recent changes [en]

  • a continuous stream of useless signals which "jamb" the intelligence of their opponents.

    Aeroplanes and Dirigibles of War

  • She was in the doorway of his bedroom, embracing the wooden jamb, hiding her breasts from view.

    Alba

  • She was in the doorway of his bedroom, embracing the wooden jamb, hiding her breasts from view.

    Alba

  • Cheater slipped the long blade of his knife through the space between the door and jamb and forced the wooden handle up and then pushed the door wide.

    Masdy's Silver

Comments

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  • I've never actually seen this word used without "door."

    "'Two more cans of barley-water, Killick; and let Bonden know the Doctor wants the blue cutter at three bells in the morning watch.'

    'Two cans and three bells it is, sir,' said Killick, aiming for the door. 'Two cans, three bells.' He struck the jamb a shrewd blow—he was usually drunk after a dinner-party—but he got through upright."

    --Patrick O'Brian, The Nutmeg of Consolation, 361

    March 9, 2008

  • "In castle architecture, the vertical side of a doorway, window, archway, or fireplace." Never actually seen it used to describe anything but a doorway. Nice to know it's there if we need it for something else though.

    August 25, 2008

  • from French for leg

    August 25, 2008