[ lam ]
/ læm /


a young sheep.
the meat of a young sheep.
a person who is gentle, meek, innocent, etc.: Their little daughter is such a lamb.
a person who is easily cheated or outsmarted, especially an inexperienced speculator.
the Lamb, Christ.

verb (used without object)

to give birth to a lamb.

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

Examples from the Web for lambing

British Dictionary definitions for lambing (1 of 4)


/ (ˈlæmɪŋ) /


  1. the birth of lambs
  2. (as modifier)lambing time
the shepherd's work of tending the ewes and newborn lambs at this time

British Dictionary definitions for lambing (2 of 4)


/ (læm) /



See also lamb down
Derived Formslamblike, adjective

Word Origin for lamb

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

British Dictionary definitions for lambing (3 of 4)


/ (læm) /


the Lamb a title given to Christ in the New Testament

British Dictionary definitions for lambing (4 of 4)


/ (læm) /


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)
William. See (2nd Viscount) Melbourne 2
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
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 lambing



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with lambing


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

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