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[lah-mid, -med]
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  1. the 12th letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
  2. the consonant sound represented by this letter.

Origin of lamed

1655–65; < Hebrew lāmēdh; cf. lambda
Related formsun·lamed, adjective


adjective, lam·er, lam·est.
  1. crippled or physically disabled, especially in the foot or leg so as to limp or walk with difficulty.
  2. impaired or disabled through defect or injury: a lame arm.
  3. weak; inadequate; unsatisfactory; clumsy: a lame excuse.
  4. Slang. out of touch with modern fads or trends; unsophisticated.
verb (used with object), lamed, lam·ing.
  1. to make lame or defective.
  1. Slang. a person who is out of touch with modern fads or trends, especially one who is unsophisticated.

Origin of lame1

before 900; Middle English (adj. and v.); Old English lama (adj.); cognate with Dutch lam, German lahm, Old Norse lami; akin to Lithuanian lúomas
Related formslame·ly, adverblame·ness, noun
Can be confusedlame lamé
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for lamed

Historical Examples

  • He was the best jumper in the west of Ireland; and they tell me you've lamed him for life.

    Jack Hinton

    Charles James Lever

  • "Jim Hooker lamed him with a shotgun, and he fell over," said Clarence timidly.

  • It was not long after this that he struck his foot with the axe and lamed himself for life.

  • It was not long after this that he struck his foot with the ax and lamed himself for life.

    Prairie Folks

    Hamlin Garland

  • The poor fellow has lamed his horse, which fell near Rambouillet.

    The Regent's Daughter

    Alexandre Dumas (Pere)

British Dictionary definitions for lamed


  1. the 12th letter in the Hebrew alphabet (ל), transliterated as lAlso: lamedh (ˈlamɛd)

Word Origin

from Hebrew, literally: ox goad (from its shape)


    1. a fabric of silk, cotton, or wool interwoven with threads of metal
    2. (as modifier)a gold lamé gown

Word Origin

from French, from Old French lame gold or silver thread, thin plate, from Latin lāmina thin plate


  1. disabled or crippled in the legs or feet
  2. painful or weaka lame back
  3. weak; unconvincinga lame excuse
  4. not effective or enthusiastica lame try
  5. US slang conventional or uninspiring
  1. (tr) to make lame
Derived Formslamely, adverblameness, noun

Word Origin

Old English lama; related to Old Norse lami, German lahm


  1. one of the overlapping metal plates used in armour after about 1330; splint

Word Origin

C16: via Old French from Latin lāmina a thin plate, lamina
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for lamed



"silk interwoven with metallic threads," 1922, from French lame, earlier "thin metal plate (especially in armor), gold wire; blade; wave (of the sea)," from Middle French lame, from Latin lamina, lamna "thin piece or flake of metal."



Old English lama "crippled, lame; paralytic, weak," from Proto-Germanic *lamon (cf. Old Norse lami, Dutch and Old Frisian lam, German lahm "lame"), "weak-limbed," literally "broken," from PIE root *lem- "to break; broken," with derivatives meaning "crippled" (cf. Old Church Slavonic lomiti "to break," Lithuanian luomas "lame"). In Middle English, "crippled in the feet," but also "crippled in the hands; disabled by disease; maimed." Sense of "socially awkward" is attested from 1942. Noun meaning "crippled persons collectively" is in late Old English.



"to make lame," c.1300, from lame (adj.). Related: Lamed; laming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

lamed in Medicine


  1. Disabled so that movement, especially walking, is difficult or impossible.
  2. Marked by pain or rigidness.
  1. To cause to become lame; cripple.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.