cam

1
[kam]

noun

Machinery. a disk or cylinder having an irregular form such that its motion, usually rotary, gives to a part or parts in contact with it a specific rocking or reciprocating motion.
Automotive Slang. camshaft.

verb (used with object), cammed, cam·ming.

to provide (a machine part or mechanism) with a cam or cams.

Origin of cam

1
< Dutch or Low German kam, kamm. See comb1

cam

2
[kam]

noun

a camera, especially one that records video (often used in combination, as indigital cam; traffic cam; webcam):She's a professional photographer who uses state-of-the-art cams.

Origin of cam

2
First recorded in 1975–80; shortening of camera1

Cam

[kam]

noun

a river in E England flowing NE by Cambridge, into the Ouse River. 40 miles (64 km) long.
Also called Granta.

CAM

[kam]

noun

computer-aided manufacturing.

Origin of CAM

First recorded in 1965–70

Cam.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


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British Dictionary definitions for cam

cam

noun

a slider or roller attached to a rotating shaft to give a particular type of reciprocating motion to a part in contact with its profile

Word Origin for cam

C18: from Dutch kam comb

Cam

noun

a river in E England, in Cambridgeshire, flowing through Cambridge to the River Ouse. Length: about 64 km (40 miles)

CAM

abbreviation for

complementary and alternative medicine
computer-aided manufacture
botany crassulacean acid metabolism: a form of photosynthesis, first described in crassulaceous plants, in which carbon dioxide is taken up only at night
Cameroon (international car registration)
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 cam
n.1

"a projecting part of a rotating machinery," 1777, from Dutch cam "cog of a wheel," originally "comb;" cognate of English comb (n.). This might have combined with English camber "having a slight arch;" or the whole thing could be from camber.

n.2

abbreviation of camera, by 1990.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper