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clam definition

Overview

This page has 22 definitions of clam with English translations in 4 languages. Clam is a noun, verb, an adjective, an adverb and preposition. Examples of how to use clam in a sentence are shown. Also define these 38 related words and terms: bivalve, mollusk, Mya arenaria, hard clam, Mercenaria mercenaria, sea clam, Tridacna gigas, pincers, forceps, vise, dollar, derogatory, Scientologist, vagina, clam up, taciturn, mouth, dig, clams, bellringing, clangor, clang, clammy, clamminess, moisture, clog, rowing, CLAM, clamor, clandestinely, secretly, privately, stealthily, accusative, ablative, unknown, mud, and leper.

See also: CLAM

English clam definition

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

From Middle English clam (pincers, vice, clamp), from Old English clamm (bond, fetter, grip, grasp), from Proto-Germanic *klamjaną (press, squeeze together). The sense “dollar” may allude to wampum.

Noun

clam (plural clams)

  1. A bivalve mollusk of many kinds, especially those that are edible; for example the soft-shell clam (Mya arenaria), the hard clam (Mercenaria mercenaria), the sea clam or hen clam (Spisula solidissima), and other species. The name is said to have been given originally to the Tridacna gigas, a huge East Indian bivalve.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 3, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      My hopes wa'n't disappointed. I never saw clams thicker than they was along them inshore flats. I filled my dreener in no time, and then it come to me that 'twouldn't be a bad idee to get a lot more, take 'em with me to Wellmouth, and peddle 'em out. Clams was fairly scarce over that side of the bay and ought to fetch a fair price.
    • 1970, “Cherrystones”, in Outlaw, performed by Eugene McDaniels:
      Long as I have my clams I don't give a damn about revolution / Long as I have my rice I don't have to think twice about a solution
    • Mollusk definition
      Alternative form of mollusc
  2. Strong pincers or forceps.
    • Forceps definition
      An instrument used in surgery or medical procedures for grasping and holding objects, similar to tongs or pincers.
  3. A kind of vise, usually of wood.
    • Vise definition
      An instrument consisting of two jaws, closing by a screw, lever, cam, or the like, for holding work, as in filing.
  4. (US, slang, chiefly in the plural) A dollar.
    Those sneakers cost me fifty clams!
  5. (slang, derogatory) A Scientologist.
    • 1998 February 23, jesparolini, “CO$ Celebrities: USEFUL IDIOTS”, in alt.religion.scientology, Usenet[2]:
      So the clams have John Travolta, Tom Cruise, et al in their hot li'l ol'P-R hands []
  6. (slang, vulgar) A vagina.
  7. (informal) One who clams up; a taciturn person, one who refuses to speak.
  8. (dated, US, slang) mouth (Now found mostly in the expression shut one's clam)
    • 1900, Burt L. Standish, Frank Merriwell's Tricks: Or True Friends and False[3]:
      Why, he hasn't opened his clam since that morning in your room. I expected he would hold forth on every and all occasions.
    • 2017, Benjamin Kane Ethridge, Dungeon Brain[4]:
      Jason wouldn't shut his clam about the invaders.
Derived terms
Translations

Verb

clam (third-person singular simple present clams, present participle clamming, simple past and past participle clammed)

  1. To dig for clams.
    • Dig definition
      To move hard-packed earth out of the way, especially downward to make a hole with a shovel. Or to drill, or the like, through rocks, roads, or the like. More generally, to make any similar hole by moving material out of the way. (1 of 7 dig definitions)
Translations

See also

Etymology 2

Noun

clam (plural clams)

  1. A crash or clangor made by ringing all the bells of a chime at once.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Nares to this entry?)

Verb

clam (third-person singular simple present clams, present participle clamming, simple past and past participle clammed)

  1. To produce, in bellringing, a clam or clangor; to cause to clang.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Nares to this entry?)
    • Clang definition
      A loud, ringing sound, like that made by free-hanging metal objects striking each other. (1 of 5 clang definitions)

Etymology 3

From Middle English clammen (to smear, bedaub), from Old English clǣman (to smear, bedaub). Cognate with German klamm (clammy). See also clammy (damp, cold and sticky) and clem (to adhere, stick, plug (a hole)).

Adjective

clam (comparative clammer, superlative clammest)

  1. (obsolete) clammy.

Noun

clam

  1. clamminess; moisture
    • Clamminess definition
      the state of being clammy

Verb

clam (third-person singular simple present clams, present participle clamming, simple past and past participle clammed)

  1. To be moist or glutinous; to stick; to adhere.
  2. To clog, as with glutinous or viscous matter.

Etymology 4

Noun

clam (plural clams)

  1. (rowing) Alternative form of CLAM

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for clam in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)

Anagrams


Catalan clam definition

Pronunciation

Noun

clam m (plural clams)

  1. clamor

Synonyms


Latin clam definition

Etymology

From Proto-Indo-European *ḱl-, zero-grade form of *ḱel- (to hide, conceal). Cognate to Latin cēlō.

Pronunciation

Adverb

clam (not comparable)

  1. clandestinely, secretly, privately
    • Privately definition
      In a private manner.
  2. stealthily

Derived terms

Related terms

Preposition

clam (+ accusative, ablative)

  1. (with accusative or, rarely, ablative) without the knowledge of, unknown to
    • 163 B.C.E. Terence, Heauton Timorumenos, Act II, Scene II:
      Neque adeō clam mē est.
      Nor indeed is it unknown to me.

References

  • clam in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • clam in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • clam in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition, 1883–1887)
  • clam in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré Latin-Français, Hachette

Old English clam definition

Alternative forms

Pronunciation

Noun

clām m

  1. mud

Declension


Old Irish clam definition

Etymology

From Proto-Celtic *klamos (sick, leprous). Cognate with Welsh claf (sick, ill).[1]

Noun

clam m or f

  1. leper

Usage notes

The noun's gender depends on the leper's gender. If the leper is male, it is masculine. If the leper is female, it is feminine.

Inflection

Masculine o-stem
Singular Dual Plural
Nominative clam clamL claimL
Vocative claim clamL clamuH
Accusative clamN clamL clamuH
Genitive claimL clam clamN
Dative clamL clamaib clamaib
Initial mutations of a following adjective:
  • H = triggers aspiration
  • L = triggers lenition
  • N = triggers nasalization
Feminine ā-stem
Singular Dual Plural
Nominative clamL claimL clamaH
Vocative clamL claimL clamaH
Accusative claimN claimL clamaH
Genitive claimeH clamL clamN
Dative claimL clamaib clamaib
Initial mutations of a following adjective:
  • H = triggers aspiration
  • L = triggers lenition
  • N = triggers nasalization

Descendants

Mutation

Old Irish mutation
Radical Lenition Nasalization
clam chlam clam
pronounced with /ɡ(ʲ)-/
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

References

  1. ^ Matasović, Ranko (December 2011) , “Addenda et corrigenda to Ranko Matasović’s Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Celtic (Brill, Leiden 2009)”, in Homepage of Ranko Matasović[1], Zagreb, page 43

Further reading