- Informal. pajamas.
Origin of jams
- a brand of baggy, brightly patterned, knee-length swim trunks.
- to press, squeeze, or wedge tightly between bodies or surfaces, so that motion or extrication is made difficult or impossible: The ship was jammed between two rocks.
- to bruise or crush by squeezing: She jammed her hand in the door.
- to fill too tightly; cram: He jammed the suitcase with clothing.
- to press, push, or thrust violently, as into a confined space or against some object: She jammed her foot on the brake.
- to fill or block up by crowding; pack or obstruct: Crowds jammed the doors.
- to put or place in position with a violent gesture (often followed by on): He jammed his hat on and stalked out of the room.
- to make (something) unworkable by causing parts to become stuck, blocked, caught, displaced, etc.: to jam a lock.
- to interfere with (radio signals or the like) by sending out other signals of approximately the same frequency.
- (of radio signals or the like) to interfere with (other signals).
- to play (a piece) in a freely improvised, swinging way; jazz up: to jam both standard tunes and the classics.
- Nautical. to head (a sailing ship) as nearly as possible into the wind without putting it in stays or putting it wholly aback.
- to become stuck, wedged, fixed, blocked, etc.: This door jams easily.
- to press or push, often violently, as into a confined space or against one another: They jammed into the elevator.
- (of a machine, part, etc.) to become unworkable, as through the wedging or displacement of a part.
- Jazz. to participate in a jam session.
- the act of jamming or the state of being jammed.
- a mass of objects, vehicles, etc., jammed together or otherwise unable to move except slowly: a log jam; a traffic jam.
- Informal. a difficult or embarrassing situation; fix: He got himself into a jam with his boss.
- jam session.
Origin of jam1
- a preserve of whole fruit, slightly crushed, boiled with sugar: strawberry jam.
- put on jam, Australian Slang. to adopt a self-important manner or use affected speech.
Origin of jam2
Examples from the Web for jams
Besides the weekly rehearsals at the Elks Lodge, Azinger jams with men and women at the local retirement home.Everybody’s Welcome at the Pittsburgh Banjo Club
April 23, 2014
The rock-clad town is now famous for meat products like chorizo, along with olive oil, almonds, and jams.The Spanish Fraggle Rock: Setenil de las Bodegas Is an Andalucian Town Built Under a Rock
January 2, 2014
It jams a website with thousands of requests, effectively overloading the server so that it is inaccessible to the public.Who Is Behind Cyberattacks on Israel’s Airline and Banks?
January 18, 2012
Jersey Turnpike (v.)—to perform a dance move in which one jams his/her rear end against a man's crotch and then bends over.The Real Jersey Dictionary, Vol. 3
March 24, 2011
After a search, some one would exclaim, "Here is the piece that jams her!"Stray Leaves from an Arctic Journal;
If I get nearer to the wall she jams me up till I am as thin as a thread-paper.Mr. Midshipman Easy
Captain Frederick Marryat
Accordingly, a knot is no knot at all if it jams or if it slips.Love Me Little, Love Me Long
The preparation of jams and jellies is based upon that fact.
This is made like all other jams, only the pine apple is grated.The National Cook Book, 9th ed.
Hannah Mary Peterson
- (tr) to cram or wedge into or against somethingto jam paper into an incinerator
- (tr) to crowd or packcars jammed the roads
- to make or become stuck or lockedthe switch has jammed
- (tr often foll by on) to activate suddenly (esp in the phrase jam on the brakes)
- (tr) to block; congestto jam the drain with rubbish
- (tr) to crush, bruise, or squeeze; smash
- radio to prevent the clear reception of (radio communications or radar signals) by transmitting other signals on the same frequency
- (intr) slang to play in a jam session
- a crowd or congestion in a confined spacea traffic jam
- the act of jamming or the state of being jammed
- informal a difficult situation; predicamentto help a friend out of a jam
- See jam session
- a preserve containing fruit, which has been boiled with sugar until the mixture sets
- slang something desirableyou want jam on it
- jam today the principle of living for the moment
Word Origin and History for jams
1966, abstracted from pajamas (q.v.).
"to press tightly," also "to become wedged," 1706, of unknown origin, perhaps a variant of champ (v.). Of a malfunction in the moving parts of machinery, by 1851. Sense of "cause interference in radio signals" is from 1914. Related: Jammed; jamming. The adverb is recorded from 1825, from the verb.
"fruit preserve," 1730s, probably a special use of jam (v.) with a sense of "crush fruit into a preserve."
"a tight pressing between two surfaces," 1806, from jam (v.). Jazz meaning "short, free improvised passage performed by the whole band" dates from 1929, and yielded jam session (1933); but this is perhaps from jam (n.1) in sense of "something sweet, something excellent." Sense of "machine blockage" is from 1890, which probably led to the colloquial meaning "predicament, tight spot," first recorded 1914.
- To block, congest, or clog.
- To crush or bruise.
Idioms and Phrases with jams
see under get in a bind.