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Definition jam

Etymology 1

First attested in the early 18th c. as a verb meaning “to press, be pressed, be wedged in”. Eventually onomatopoeic, perhaps identical with Middle English cham (“to bite, to gnash one's teeth”), whence modern champ.

Noun

jam (countable and uncountable, plural jams)

  1. A sweet mixture of fruit boiled with sugar and allowed to congeal. Often spread on bread or toast or used in jam tarts.
  2. (countable) A difficult situation.
  3. (countable) Blockage, congestion.
  4. (countable, popular music) An informal, impromptu performance or rehearsal.
  5. (countable, by extension, informal) A song; a track.
  6. (countable, by extension) An informal event where people brainstorm and collaborate on projects.
  7. (countable, baseball) A difficult situation for a pitcher or defending team.
  8. (countable, basketball) A forceful dunk.
  9. (countable, roller derby) A play during which points can be scored.
  10. (climbing, countable) Any of several maneuvers requiring wedging of an extremity into a tight space.
  11. (Britain, slang) luck.
  12. (slang) sexual relations or the contemplation of them.
Verb

jam (third-person singular simple present jams, present participle jamming, simple past and past participle jammed)

  1. To get something stuck in a confined space.
  2. To brusquely force something into a space; cram, squeeze.
  3. To cause congestion or blockage. Often used with "up"
  4. To block or confuse a broadcast signal.
  5. (baseball) To throw a pitch at or near the batter's hands.
  6. (music) To play music (especially improvisation as a group, or an informal unrehearsed session).
  7. To injure a finger or toe by sudden compression of the digit's tip.
  8. (roller derby) To attempt to score points.
  9. (nautical) To bring (a vessel) so close to the wind that half her upper sails are laid aback.
  10. (Canada, informal) To give up on a date or some joint endeavour; stand up, chicken out, jam out.

Etymology 2

Persian or Hindi, meaning "garment, robe"; related to pajamas.

Noun

jam (plural jams)

  1. (dated) A kind of frock for children.

Etymology 3

Noun

jam (plural jams)

  1. (mining) Alternative form of jamb

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