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sham

[sham] /ʃæm/
noun
1.
something that is not what it purports to be; a spurious imitation; fraud or hoax.
2.
a person who shams; shammer.
3.
a cover or the like for giving a thing a different outward appearance:
a pillow sham.
adjective
4.
pretended; counterfeit; feigned:
sham attacks; a sham Gothic façade.
5.
designed, made, or used as a sham.
verb (used with object), shammed, shamming.
6.
to produce an imitation of.
7.
to assume the appearance of; pretend to have:
to sham illness.
verb (used without object), shammed, shamming.
8.
to make a false show of something; pretend.
Origin of sham
1670-1680
First recorded in 1670-80; origin uncertain
Related forms
unshammed, adjective
Synonyms
1. pretense. 4. spurious, make-believe, simulated, mock. See false. 6. imitate. 7. feign, fake.
Antonyms
4. genuine.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for shamming
Historical Examples
  • The constable did not know whether he was shamming or not, but he took no risks.

  • When it looked last night as if it hung right over our heads, it was shamming.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede George MacDonald
  • Possibly he's shamming, now; though he was stunned, as well as half-suffocated.'

    Against Odds Lawrence L. Lynch
  • And with this viewpoint, there was no shamming about the old man's expressions of friendship.

    The White Desert

    Courtney Ryley Cooper
  • You know I was shamming when I acted as though I had lost my identity.

    The White Desert

    Courtney Ryley Cooper
  • The fox wasn't quite dead after all, it was only shamming dead.

    The Mahatma and the Hare H. Rider Haggard
  • It's just too sweet of her, any way, even if she's shamming.

  • We thought that they were shamming, and treated them like the rest.

    Marmaduke Merry William H. G. Kingston
  • None the less, watching Kathryn, she could not in sincerity accuse her of any shamming.

    The Brentons Anna Chapin Ray
  • “He is shamming, Nat, like a very bashful boy,” said Uncle Dick.

    Nat the Naturalist G. Manville Fenn
British Dictionary definitions for shamming

sham

/ʃæm/
noun
1.
anything that is not what it purports or appears to be
2.
something false, fake, or fictitious that purports to be genuine
3.
a person who pretends to be something other than he is
adjective
4.
counterfeit or false; simulated
verb shams, shamming, shammed
5.
to falsely assume the appearance of (something); counterfeit: to sham illness
Derived Forms
shammer, noun
Word Origin
C17: perhaps a Northern English dialect variant of shame
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
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Word Origin and History for shamming

sham

n.

1670s, "a trick, a hoax, a fraud," also as a verb and an adjective, of uncertain origin; the words burst into use in 1677. Perhaps from sham, a northern dialectal variant of shame (n.); a derivation OED finds "not impossible." Sense of "something meant to be mistaken for something else" is from 1728. The meaning "false front" in pillow-sham (1721) is from the notion of "counterfeit." Related: Shammed; shamming; shammer. Shamateur "amateur sportsman who acts like a professional" is from 1896.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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