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Inherited from Old Spanish lamar, from Latin clāmāre (cry out), whence also the borrowed Spanish doublet clamar. Ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *kelh₁- (to shout). Cognate with English claim and clamor.


  • IPA(key): (most of Spain and Latin America) /ʝaˈmaɾ/ [ɟ͡ʝaˈmaɾ]
  • IPA(key): (rural northern Spain, Andes Mountains) /ʎaˈmaɾ/ [ʎaˈmaɾ]
  • IPA(key): (Buenos Aires and environs) /ʃaˈmaɾ/ [ʃaˈmaɾ]
  • IPA(key): (elsewhere in Argentina and Uruguay) /ʒaˈmaɾ/ [ʒaˈmaɾ]

  • Rhymes: -aɾ
  • Syllabification: lla‧mar


llamar (first-person singular present llamo, first-person singular preterite llamé, past participle llamado)

  1. to summon, to call
    Te estuve llamando a voces.
    I was summoning you by voice.
    Me llamó con la mano para que me acercase.
    [He] summoned me with [his] hand in order to bring me near.
    1. to call (on the telephone)
      Te llaman desde París.
      They are calling you from Paris.
      Que me llamen a las siete.
      May they call me at seven o'clock.
      Ha llamado a Maribel.
      [He] has called Maribel.
    2. to knock (on a door)
      Entren sin llamar.
      Enter without knocking.
    3. to ring (a doorbell)
      ¿Quién llama?
      Who is ringing [the doorbell]?
  2. to refer to
    ¿Cómo van a llamar al niño?
    How are they going to refer to the child?
    Eso yo lo llamo un auténtico robo.
    I refer to that as an authentic robbery.
    La llamó de todo.
    [He] referred to her about everything.
  3. to appeal; to attract
    El ejército llama a muchos jóvenes.
    The army appeals to many youths.
    El chocolate no me llama demasiado.
    Chocolate does not appeal to me too much.
    llamar la atención
    to attract attention
  4. (reflexive) to be called
    ¿Cómo te llamas? (informal)What is your name? (literally, “How are [you] called?”)
    ¿Cómo se llama usted? (formal)What is your name? (literally, “How are [you] called?”)
    Mi primo se llama Benjamín.
    My cousin’s name is Benjamin.
    (literally, “My cousin is called Benjamin.”)


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