Dictionary.com

yam

[ yam ]
/ yæm /
Save This Word!

noun

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

QUIZZES

QUIZ YOURSELF ON “ITS” VS. “IT’S”!

Apostrophes can be tricky; prove you know the difference between it’s and its in this crafty quiz!
Question 1 of 12
On the farm, the feed for chicks is significantly different from the roosters’; ______ not even comparable.

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

yam
/ (jæm) /

noun

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
Learn A New Word Right Now!