[ yam ]
/ yæm /
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the starchy, tuberous root of any of various climbing vines of the genus Dioscorea, cultivated for food in warm regions.
any of these plants.



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Origin of yam

First recorded in 1580–90; compare Gullah nyam,Jamaican English nyaams, Sranan jamsi, from sources in one or more West African languages (compare Wolof nyam(nyam),Fulani nyami “to eat,” Twi εnãm “flesh”); earlier English forms, from Portuguese inhame or Spanish (i)ñame
cassava, sweet potato, yam
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for yam

/ (jæm) /


any of various twining plants of the genus Dioscorea, of tropical and subtropical regions, cultivated for their edible tubers: family Dioscoreaceae
the starchy tuber of any of these plants, which is eaten as a vegetable
Southern US any of certain large varieties of sweet potato
a former Scot name for the (common) potato
C17: from Portuguese inhame, ultimately of West African origin; compare Senegal nyami to eat
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
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