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tame

[teym]
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adjective, tam·er, tam·est.
  1. changed from the wild or savage state; domesticated: a tame bear.
  2. 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.
  3. tractable, docile, or submissive, as a person or the disposition.
  4. lacking in excitement; dull; insipid: a very tame party.
  5. spiritless or pusillanimous.
  6. not to be taken very seriously; without real power or importance; serviceable but harmless: They kept a tame scientist around.
  7. brought into service; rendered useful and manageable; under control, as natural resources or a source of power.
  8. cultivated or improved by cultivation, as a plant or its fruit.
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verb (used with object), tamed, tam·ing.
  1. to make tame; domesticate; make tractable.
  2. to deprive of courage, ardor, or zest.
  3. to deprive of interest, excitement, or attractiveness; make dull.
  4. to soften; tone down.
  5. to harness or control; render useful, as a source of power.
  6. to cultivate, as land or plants.
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verb (used without object), tamed, tam·ing.
  1. to become tame.
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Origin of tame

before 900; (adj.) Middle English; Old English tam; cognate with Dutch tam, German zahm, Old Norse tamr; (v.) Middle English tamen, derivative of the adj.; replacing Middle English temen to tame, Old English temian, derivative of tam; cognate with Old Norse temja, Gothic gatamjan; akin to Latin domāre to tame
Related formstame·ly, adverbtame·ness, nountam·er, nouno·ver·tame, adjectiveo·ver·tame·ly, adverbo·ver·tame·ness, nounun·tame, adjectiveun·tame·ly, adverbun·tame·ness, nounun·tamed, adjectivewell-tamed, adjective

Synonyms

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3. meek, subdued. 4. flat, empty, vapid, boring, tedious, uninteresting. 5. cowardly, dastardly. 9. break, subdue. 12. calm, mollify.

Antonyms

1. wild.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tames

Historical Examples

  • She shocks him this way and that, but gradually he tames her, and makes her nearly as dull as he is.

    The Longest Journey

    E. M. Forster

  • England invites adventurers by her beauty and then tames them.

    England

    Frank Fox

  • Hat in hand, for the wind is cool and good, and tames the hot young blood which a woman's biting tongue has whipped into passion.

    The Laughing Cavalier

    Baroness Orczy

  • Be like the promontory against which the waves continually break, but it stands firm and tames the fury of the water around it.

  • This means that he becomes master of purely physical force in man; he tames it.


British Dictionary definitions for tames

tame

adjective
  1. changed by man from a naturally wild state into a tractable, domesticated, or cultivated condition
  2. (of animals) not fearful of human contact
  3. lacking in spirit or initiative; meek or submissivea tame personality
  4. flat, insipid, or uninspiringa tame ending to a book
  5. slow-movinga tame current
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verb (tr)
  1. to make tame; domesticate
  2. to break the spirit of, subdue, or curb
  3. to tone down, soften, or mitigate
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Derived Formstamable or tameable, adjectivetamability, tameability, tamableness or tameableness, nountameless, adjectivetamely, adverbtameness, nountamer, noun

Word Origin

Old English tam; related to Old Norse tamr, Old High German zam
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 tames

tame

adj.

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.

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tame

v.

early Middle English teme, from Old English temian "make tame" (see tame (adj.)); form altered 14c. by influence of the adjective. Related: Tamed; taming.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper