• synonyms


verb (used with or without object), clemmed, clem·ming. British Dialect.
  1. to starve.
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Origin of clem

1530–40; akin to Middle English forclemmed (past participle) pinched with hunger, Old English beclemman to fetter


  1. a male given name, form of Clement.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for clem

Historical Examples of clem

  • He wouldna be touchit; not whin he was clem would he be tempted awa'.

    Wisdom, Wit, and Pathos of Ouida


  • Clem also felt under the weather, and besides was growing homesick.

    A Canyon Voyage

    Frederick S. Dellenbaugh

  • Clem here told Prof. he did not care to stay with us any longer.

    A Canyon Voyage

    Frederick S. Dellenbaugh

  • I cannot eat stones and turfs: say, what will he clem me and my followers?

  • Hard is the choice when the valiant must eat their arms or clem.

British Dictionary definitions for clem



verb clems, clemming, clemmed, clams, clamming or clammed
  1. (when tr, usually passive) English dialect to be hungry or cause to be hungry
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Word Origin for clem

C16: of Germanic origin; related to Dutch, German klemmen to pinch, cramp; compare Old English beclemman to shut in
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