[ad-uh m for 1, 3, 5–8; a-dahn for 2, 4]
  1. the name of the first man: husband of Eve and progenitor of the human race. Gen. 2:7; 5:1–5.
  2. A·dolphe Charles [a-dawlf sharl] /aˈdɔlf ʃarl/, 1803–56, French composer of comic opera and ballet music.
  3. James,1730–94, and his brother Robert, 1728–92, English architects and furniture designers.
  4. Lam·bert Si·gis·bert [lahn-ber see-zheez-ber] /lɑ̃ˈbɛr si ʒizˈbɛr/, 1700–59, and his brother Ni·cho·las Sé·bas·tien [nee-kaw-lah sey-bahs-tyan] /ni kɔˈlɑ seɪ bɑsˈtyɛ̃/, 1705–78, French sculptors.
  5. a male given name.
  1. of or relating to the style of architecture, decoration, or furnishings associated with Robert and James Adam, characterized by free adaptation of ancient Roman forms and interiors treated with delicate ornament generally painted in light, vivid colors.
  1. not know from Adam, to be unacquainted with: He says hello to us every morning, but we don't know him from Adam.
  2. the old Adam, the natural tendency toward sin: He attributed his wild outburst to the old Adam in him.

Origin of Adam

From the Hebrew word ādhām literally, man Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for adam

Contemporary Examples of adam

Historical Examples of adam

British Dictionary definitions for adam


  1. Old Testament the first man, created by God: the progenitor of the human race (Genesis 2–3)
  2. not know someone from Adam to have no knowledge of or acquaintance with someone
  3. the old Adam the evil supposedly inherent in human nature


  1. (French adɑ̃) Adolphe. 1803–56, French composer, best known for his romantic ballet Giselle (1841)
  2. (ˈædəm) Robert. 1728–92, Scottish architect and furniture designer. Assisted by his brother, James, 1730–94, he emulated the harmony of classical and Italian Renaissance architecture
  1. in the neoclassical style made popular by Robert Adam
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 adam


masc. proper name, Biblical name of the first man, from Hebrew adam "man," literally "(the one formed from the) ground" (Hebrew adamah "ground"); cf. Latin homo "man," humanus "human," humus "earth, ground, soil." To not know (someone) from Adam "not know him at all" is first recorded 1784.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with adam


see not know from Adam.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.