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lamb

[lam]
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noun
  1. a young sheep.
  2. the meat of a young sheep.
  3. a person who is gentle, meek, innocent, etc.: Their little daughter is such a lamb.
  4. a person who is easily cheated or outsmarted, especially an inexperienced speculator.
  5. the Lamb, Christ.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to give birth to a lamb.
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Origin of lamb

before 900; Middle English, Old English; cognate with Dutch lam, German Lamm, Old Norse, Gothic lamb; akin to Greek élaphos deer. See elk
Can be confusedlam lamb

Lamb

[lam]
noun
  1. CharlesElia, 1775–1834, English essayist and critic.
  2. Harold A.,1892–1962, U.S. novelist.
  3. Mary Ann,1764–1847, English author who wrote in collaboration with her brother Charles Lamb.
  4. William, 2nd Viscount Melbourne,1779–1848, English statesman: prime minister 1834, 1835–41.
  5. Willis E(ugene), Jr.,1913–2008, U.S. physicist: Nobel Prize 1955.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for lamb

lamb

noun
  1. the young of a sheep
  2. the meat of a young sheep
  3. a person, esp a child, who is innocent, meek, good, etc
  4. a person easily deceived
  5. like a lamb to the slaughter
    1. without resistance
    2. innocently
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verb
  1. Also: lamb down (intr) (of a ewe) to give birth
  2. (tr; used in the passive) (of a lamb) to be born
  3. (intr) (of a shepherd) to tend the ewes and newborn lambs at lambing time
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See also lamb down
Derived Formslamblike, adjective

Word Origin

Old English lamb, from Germanic; compare German Lamm, Old High German and Old Norse lamb

Lamb1

noun
  1. the Lamb a title given to Christ in the New Testament
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Lamb2

noun
  1. Charles, pen name Elia. 1775–1834, English essayist and critic. He collaborated with his sister Mary on Tales from Shakespeare (1807). His other works include Specimens of English Dramatic Poets (1808) and the largely autobiographical essays collected in Essays of Elia (1823; 1833)
  2. William. See (2nd Viscount) Melbourne 2
  3. Willis Eugene. 1913–2008, US physicist. He detected the small difference in energy between two states of the hydrogen atom (Lamb shift). Nobel prize for physics 1955
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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 lamb

n.

Old English lamb "lamb," from Proto-Germanic *lambaz (cf. Old Norse, Old Frisian, Gothic lamb, Middle Dutch, Dutch lam, Middle High German lamp, German Lamm "lamb"). Common to the Germanic languages, but with no certain cognates outside them. Old English plural was lomberu. Applied to persons (especially young Church members, gentle souls, etc.) from late Old English. Also sometimes used ironically for cruel or rough characters (e.g. Kirke's Lambs in wars of 1684-86). Lamb's-wool (adj.) is from 1550s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with lamb

lamb

see hanged for a sheep (as a lamb); in two shakes (of a lamb's tail); like a lamb to the slaughter.

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