Definitions

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

  • adjective Brought from wildness into a domesticated or tractable state.
  • adjective Naturally unafraid; not timid.
  • adjective Submissive; docile; fawning.
  • adjective Insipid; flat.
  • adjective Sluggish; languid; inactive.
  • transitive verb To make tame; domesticate.
  • transitive verb To subdue or curb.
  • transitive verb To change from an uncontrolled or disorderly to a controlled state.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old English tam; see demə- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English tam

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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?

  • 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?

  • 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

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