Origin of sham

First recorded in 1670–80; origin uncertain


4 spurious, make-believe, simulated, mock. See false.
6 imitate.
7 feign, fake.

Related forms

un·shammed, adjective
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Examples from the Web for sham

British Dictionary definitions for sham


/ (ʃæm) /


anything that is not what it purports or appears to be
something false, fake, or fictitious that purports to be genuine
a person who pretends to be something other than he is


counterfeit or false; simulated

verb shams, shamming or shammed

to falsely assume the appearance of (something); counterfeitto sham illness

Derived Forms

shammer, noun

Word Origin for sham

C17: perhaps a Northern English dialect variant of shame
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