Spam

[spam]
See more synonyms for Spam on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. (lowercase) Digital Technology. disruptive online messages, especially commercial messages posted on a computer network or sent as email (often used attributively): Install spam blocker software and keep your email spam filters updated to protect your accounts from unsolicited spam.
adjective
  1. (lowercase) Digital Technology. (of promotional content on the Internet) irrelevant or misdirected: The search engine delivered spam websites that had nothing to do with my keywords.
verb (used with object), spammed, spam·ming.
  1. (lowercase) Digital Technology. to send spam to.
  2. (lowercase) Digital Technology. to execute (an action) or use (an item) rapidly or repeatedly in a video game: Spam the attack button as soon as the fight begins.
verb (used without object), spammed, spam·ming.
  1. (lowercase) Digital Technology. to send spam.

Origin of Spam

1937; (def 1) sp(iced) + (h)am1; (other defs.) 1990–95; probably referring to a comedy routine on Monty Python's Flying Circus, British TV series, in which the word Spam is used repeatedly
Related formsspam·mer, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for spam

spit, spam, circular

Examples from the Web for spam

Contemporary Examples of spam

Historical Examples of spam

  • To the majority, spam means no more than chopped meat in a can.

  • You take every word that's in the spam and count how many times it appears.

    Little Brother

    Cory Doctorow

  • Now, take a ton of email that's not spam -- in the biz, they call that "ham" -- and do the same.

    Little Brother

    Cory Doctorow

  • If it turns out to be spam, you adjust the "spam" histogram accordingly.

    Little Brother

    Cory Doctorow

  • So you're saying that you think the police should suck as hard as my spam filter?

    Little Brother

    Cory Doctorow


British Dictionary definitions for spam

spam

verb spams, spamming or spammed
  1. to send unsolicited electronic mail or text messages simultaneously to a number of e-mail addresses or mobile phones
noun
  1. unsolicited electronic mail or text messages sent in this way
Derived Formsspammer, noun

Word Origin for spam

C20: from the repeated use of the word Spam in a popular sketch from the British television show Monty Python's Flying Circus, first broadcast in 1969

Spam

noun
  1. trademark a kind of tinned luncheon meat, made largely from pork
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 spam
n.

proprietary name registered by Geo. A. Hormel & Co. in U.S., 1937; probably a conflation of spiced ham. Soon extended to other kinds of canned meat. In the sense of "Internet junk mail" it was coined by Usenet users after March 31, 1993, when Usenet administrator Richard Depew inadvertently posted the same message 200 times to a discussion group. The term had been used in online text games, and it was from the comedy routine in British TV show "Monty Python's Flying Circus" (beloved by many intellectual geeks) where a restaurant's menu items all devolve into spam.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

spam in Culture

spam

Unsolicited, undesired e-mail. Also used as a verb. Spam is the e-mail version of junk mail.

Note

The name comes from a Monty Python comedy skit about a restaurant that served only Spam.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.