[ leym ]
/ leɪm /
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adjective, lam·er, lam·est.
physically disabled, especially in the foot or leg so as to limp or walk with difficulty: a lame racehorse.
impaired or disabled through defect or injury: a lame arm.
weak; inadequate; unsatisfactory; clumsy: a lame excuse.
Slang: Sometimes Disparaging and Offensive. awkward, dull, stupid, or uninteresting.
Slang: Sometimes Disparaging and Offensive. out of touch with modern fads or trends; unsophisticated.
verb (used with object), lamed, lam·ing.
to make lame or defective.
Slang: Sometimes Disparaging and Offensive. a person who is out of touch with modern fads or trends, especially one who is unsophisticated.
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Origin of lame1
First recorded before 900; Middle English (adjective and verb); Old English lama (adjective); cognate with Dutch lam, German lahm, Old Norse lami; akin to Lithuanian lúomas
usage note for lame
Many speakers do not recognize or consider the connection between the medical and slang senses of lame . Nevertheless, using a term associated with injury or disability as a general insult is sometimes perceived as insensitive to or by people with disabilities.
OTHER WORDS FROM lamelamely, adverblameness, noun
WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH lamelame , lamé
Other definitions for lame (2 of 3)
[ leym; French lam ]
/ leɪm; French lam /
noun, plural lames [leym; French lam]. /leɪm; French lam/. Armor.
any of a number of thin, overlapping plates composing a piece of plate armor, as a fauld, tasset, or gauntlet.
Origin of lame2
1580–90; <Middle French <Latin lāmina a thin piece or plate
Other definitions for lame (3 of 3)
[ lah-mey, la-; French la-mey ]
/ lɑˈmeɪ, læ-; French laˈmeɪ /
an ornamental fabric in which metallic threads, as of gold or silver, are woven with silk, wool, rayon, or cotton.
WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH lamélame, lamé
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use lame in a sentence
At last, being by this time lamer than any pilgrim, I boldly cut out the lumps in my stockings, and thereby enlarged the holes.A Witch of the Hills, v. 1-2|Florence Warden
"Yes, you are to take me in," she evaded, her look even lamer than her words.The Great God Success|John Graham (David Graham Phillips)
Rupert had been rather lamer than usual during the last few days, owing to an accidental slip on the stairs.The Adventurous Seven|Bessie Marchant
It looks lamer now, as they sit smoking their pipes, more coolly and closely considering it.The Death Shot|Mayne Reid
"Perhaps if he were, he would go still lamer," said Frulus in an undertone.The White House (Novels of Paul de Kock Volume XII)|Charles Paul de Kock
British Dictionary definitions for lame (1 of 3)
/ (leɪm) /
disabled or crippled in the legs or feet
painful or weaka lame back
weak; unconvincinga lame excuse
not effective or enthusiastica lame try
US slang conventional or uninspiring
(tr) to make lame
Derived forms of lamelamely, adverblameness, noun
Word Origin for lame
Old English lama; related to Old Norse lami, German lahm
British Dictionary definitions for lame (2 of 3)
/ (leɪm) /
one of the overlapping metal plates used in armour after about 1330; splint
Word Origin for lame
C16: via Old French from Latin lāmina a thin plate, lamina
British Dictionary definitions for lame (3 of 3)
/ (ˈlɑːmeɪ) /
- a fabric of silk, cotton, or wool interwoven with threads of metal
- (as modifier)a gold lamé gown
Word Origin for lamé
from French, from Old French lame gold or silver thread, thin plate, from Latin lāmina thin plate
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