- 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 tamely
Think you that I will tamely expose my forehead to your aim?A Hero of Our Time
M. Y. Lermontov
Could it be expected of the dragoons that they should tamely suffer themselves to be massacred?The Snare
It was a time of joyous excitement which words can but tamely describe.
What is the use of having views, if they are just tamely agreed to at once?A Woman's Will
To say the act went off tamely would be simply admitting the truth.A Pirate of Parts
- 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 tamely
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.