- changed from the wild or savage state; domesticated: a tame bear.
- without the savageness or fear of humans normal in wild animals; gentle, fearless, or without shyness, as if domesticated: That lion acts as tame as a house cat.
- tractable, docile, or submissive, as a person or the disposition.
- lacking in excitement; dull; insipid: a very tame party.
- spiritless or pusillanimous.
- not to be taken very seriously; without real power or importance; serviceable but harmless: They kept a tame scientist around.
- brought into service; rendered useful and manageable; under control, as natural resources or a source of power.
- cultivated or improved by cultivation, as a plant or its fruit.
- to make tame; domesticate; make tractable.
- to deprive of courage, ardor, or zest.
- to deprive of interest, excitement, or attractiveness; make dull.
- to soften; tone down.
- to harness or control; render useful, as a source of power.
- to cultivate, as land or plants.
- to become tame.
Origin of tame
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for tame
Her Facebook photos could populate a tame “girls with guns” style calendar.Open-Carry Militia Mom ‘Murders’ Family
December 16, 2014
He was widely perceived as having been outplayed by a vast military bureaucracy that he never sought to tame.Hagel Takes a Bullet for Obama: Inside the Defense Secretary’s Sudden Firing
Shane Harris, Tim Mak
November 24, 2014
That's tame compared to the C-word and racism other Republicans have thrown on the social network.The GOP's Many Facebook Fiascos
August 7, 2014
He left the crowd with a Greek aphorism—“to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world.”Love Versus the ‘Liberal Gulag’
April 8, 2014
I had just gotten my braces off and was learning how to tame my hair with a curling iron.Apps and Online Programs Offer New Ways to Report Street Harassment
April 2, 2014
A tame egret ruffled her white plumes at the Princess's shoulder.The Trail Book
Reminds me of a cat'mount I tried to tame once, only he's twice as ugly.The Underdog
F. Hopkinson Smith
But those d—-d fellows learn of the mad doctors how to tame us.Night and Morning, Complete
But we know that our dull circle must seem tame to one who has seen so much.Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete
Love is not comfort, nor house, nor lands, nor the tame delights of use and wont.The Hunted Outlaw
- changed by man from a naturally wild state into a tractable, domesticated, or cultivated condition
- (of animals) not fearful of human contact
- lacking in spirit or initiative; meek or submissivea tame personality
- flat, insipid, or uninspiringa tame ending to a book
- slow-movinga tame current
- to make tame; domesticate
- to break the spirit of, subdue, or curb
- to tone down, soften, or mitigate
Word Origin and History for tame
Old English tom, tam "domesticated, docile," from Proto-Germanic *tamaz (cf. Old Norse tamr, Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Middle Low German, Middle Dutch tam, Old High German zam, German zahm "tame," Gothic tamjan "to tame"), from PIE *deme- "to constrain, to force, to break (horses)" (cf. Sanskrit damayati "tames;" Persian dam "a tame animal;" Greek daman "to tame, subdue," dmetos "tame;" Latin domare "to tame, subdue;" Old Irish damnaim "I tie up, fasten, I tame, subdue"). Possible ulterior connection with PIE *dem- "house, household" (see domestic). Meaning "spiritless, weak, dull" is recorded from c.1600.
early Middle English teme, from Old English temian "make tame" (see tame (adj.)); form altered 14c. by influence of the adjective. Related: Tamed; taming.