clam

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English[edit]

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Littleneck clams, of the species Mercenaria mercenaria

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English clam (pincers, vice, clamp), from Old English clamm (bond, fetter, grip, grasp).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

clam (plural clams)

  1. A bivalve mollusk of many kinds, especially those that are edible; as, the long clam (Mya arenaria), the quahog or round clam (Venus mercenaria), the sea clam or hen clam (Spisula solidissima), and other species of the United States. The name is said to have been given originally to the Tridacna gigas, a huge East Indian bivalve.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 3, Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      My hopes wa'n't disappointed. I never saw clams thicker than they was along them inshore flats. I filled my dreener in no time, and then it come to me that 'twouldn't be a bad idee to get a lot more, take 'em with me to Wellmouth, and peddle 'em out. Clams was fairly scarce over that side of the bay and ought to fetch a fair price.
  2. Strong pincers or forceps.
  3. A kind of vise, usually of wood.
  4. (US, slang) A dollar (usually used in the plural). Possibly originating from the term wampum.
    Those sneakers cost me fifty clams!
  5. (slang, derogatory) A Scientologist.
    • 1998 23 February, jesparolini, “CO$ Celebrities: USEFUL IDIOTS”, alt.religion.scientology, Usenet:
      So the clams have John Travolta, Tom Cruise, et al in their hot li'l ol'P-R hands []
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

clam (third-person singular simple present clams, present participle clamming, simple past and past participle clammed)

  1. To dig for clams.
Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Noun[edit]

clam (plural clams)

  1. A crash or clangor made by ringing all the bells of a chime at once.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Nares to this entry?)

Verb[edit]

clam (third-person singular simple present clams, present participle clamming, simple past and past participle clammed)

  1. To produce, in bellringing, a clam or clangor; to cause to clang.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Nares to this entry?)

Etymology 3[edit]

Noun[edit]

clam

  1. clamminess; moisture
    • Carlyle
      The clam of death.

Verb[edit]

clam (third-person singular simple present clams, present participle clamming, simple past and past participle clammed)

  1. To be moist or glutinous; to stick; to adhere.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Dryden to this entry?)
  2. To clog, as with glutinous or viscous matter.
    • L'Estrange
      A swarm of wasps got into a honey pot, and there they cloyed and clammed themselves till there was no getting out again.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.

Anagrams[edit]


Catalan[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

clam m (plural clams)

  1. clamor

Synonyms[edit]


Latin[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Indo-European *ḱl-, the zero-grade variant of Proto-Indo-European *ḱel-. Cognate to Latin cēlō.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adverb[edit]

clam (not comparable)

  1. clandestinely, secretly, privately
  2. stealthily

Preposition[edit]

clam

  1. (with accusative or, rarely, ablative) without the knowledge of, unknown to
    • 163 B.C.E. Terence, Heauton Timorumenos, Act II, Scene II:
      Neque adeo clam me est.
      Nor indeed is it unknown to me.


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

References[edit]

  • clam in Charlton T. Lewis & Charles Short, A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1879