See more synonyms for slam on
verb (used with or without object), slammed, slam·ming.
  1. to shut with force and noise: to slam the door.
  2. to dash, strike, knock, thrust, throw, slap down, etc., with violent and noisy impact: He slammed his books upon the table.
  3. Informal. to criticize harshly; attack verbally: He slammed my taste mercilessly.
  1. a violent and noisy closing, dashing, or impact.
  2. the noise so made.
  3. Usually the slam. Slang. slammer(def 2).
  4. Informal. a harsh criticism; verbal attack: I am sick of your slams.
  5. Informal.
    1. Also called poetry slam.a competitive, usually boisterous poetry reading.
    2. a usually competitive performance involving multiple performers with short acts: puppet slams; a tap dance slam.

Origin of slam

1650–60; perhaps < Scandinavian; compare Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish slamra to slam
Related formsun·slammed, adjective


noun Cards.
  1. the winning or bidding of all the tricks or all the tricks but one in a deal.Compare grand slam(def 1), little slam.
  2. an old type of card game associated with ruff.

Origin of slam

First recorded in 1615–25; perhaps special use of slam1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for slam

smash, bat, hit, knock, beat, fling, slap, dash, swat, bang, batter, hurl, strike, crash, blast, belt, blow, pound, wham, burst

Examples from the Web for slam

Contemporary Examples of slam

Historical Examples of slam

  • A moment later the window above them was closed with a slam.

    The Film of Fear

    Arnold Fredericks

  • The door between the sitting-room and dining-room closed with a slam.

    Thankful's Inheritance

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • The outside door closed with a slam; "Brother Obed" had fled.

    The Depot Master

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Azuba entered the store in the way in which she did most things, with a flurry and a slam.

    Cap'n Dan's Daughter

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Keziah started, as if the slam of the door had been an electric shock.

    Keziah Coffin

    Joseph C. Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for slam


verb slams, slamming or slammed
  1. to cause (a door or window) to close noisily and with force or (of a door, etc) to close in this way
  2. (tr) to throw (something) down noisily and violently
  3. (tr) slang to criticize harshly
  4. (intr; usually foll by into or out of) informal to go (into or out of a room, etc) in violent haste or anger
  5. (tr) to strike with violent force
  6. (tr) informal to defeat easily
  1. the act or noise of slamming
  2. slang harsh criticism or abuse

Word Origin for slam

C17: of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse slamra, Norwegian slemma, Swedish dialect slämma


    1. the winning of all (grand slam) or all but one (little slam or small slam) of the 13 tricks at bridge or whist
    2. the bid to do so in bridgeSee grand slam, little slam
  1. an old card game

Word Origin for slam

C17: of uncertain origin


  1. a poetry contest in which entrants compete with each other by reciting their work and are awarded points by the audience

Word Origin for slam

C20: origin unknown
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 slam

1670s, "a severe blow," probably from a Scandinavian source (cf. Norwegian slamre, Swedish slemma "to slam, bang") of imitative origin. Meaning "a violent closing of a door" is from 1817. Meaning "an insult, put-down" is from 1884. Slam-bang recorded by 1806 (also slap-bang, 1785). Slam-dunk is from 1976; early use often in reference to Julius Erving. Slam-dance is attested by 1987 (slam by itself in this sense is recorded from 1983).


"a winning of all tricks in a card game," 1660s, earlier the name of a card game (also called ruff), 1620s, used especially in whist, of obscure origin. Grand slam in bridge first recorded 1892; earlier in related card games from 1814; figurative sense of "complete success" is attested from 1920; in baseball sense from 1935.


1690s, "to beat, slap;" 1775 as "to shut with force," from slam (n.1). Meaning "throw or push with force" is from 1870. Meaning "say uncomplimentary things about" is from 1916. Related: Slammed; slamming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper