Main definitions of cam in English

: cam1CAM2



  • 1A projection on a rotating part in machinery, designed to make sliding contact with another part while rotating and impart reciprocal or variable motion to it.

    • ‘This cam converts the horizontal motion of the micrometer head to a vertical motion.’
    • ‘The intake cams have more lift, while the exhaust cams now have less to reduce mechanical power loss.’
    • ‘Larger turbo chargers, forged pistons and high-lift cams are the secrets behind the extra shove, along with the required engine remapping and improved cooling.’
    • ‘Turning the wheel would wind the cable to one side, rotating the cam and through that the shaft and the rudder.’
    • ‘So, for instance, a designer can see an engine block as a wire-frame display with all the cams and pistons shaded for better visibility.’
    • ‘A single motor powers a dense array of aluminum and plastic gears, cams, and levers that move vertical supporting rods up, down, and sideways in research-dictated paths.’
    • ‘Both engines are all-aluminum and have overhead cams and four valves per cylinder.’
    • ‘Thirty years ago, packaging machines were primarily mechanically driven and most processes were linked from a single drive motor through drive shafts, cams, and belts.’
    • ‘You get one cylinder head rather than two, two cams rather than four, one cam drive system rather than two and so on.’
    • ‘The engine has dual overhead cams, continuously variable intake and exhaust valve timing, polymer coating on the pistons, and other features that provide performance for the vehicle.’
    • ‘It included three wall-mounted sculptures and one large installation, each made kinetic by means of a cam or pulley mechanism.’
    • ‘Solid, or mechanical, lifters provide more direct contact between the cam and pushrod and accordingly can rev up to 8,000 rpm.’
    • ‘No matter what angle the cam is rotated to, it will have the same angular relationship to the crack.’
    • ‘The closeness of the lobes of both the quad cams and dual cams can result in dirt and grime buildup that can be difficult to clean.’
    • ‘Variable camshaft timing on both the intake and exhaust cams rotate the cams between the adjustment extremes in a stepless fashion.’
    • ‘We connected the slide to a cam attached to a motor.’
    • ‘When a cylinder fires, the piston rod is at an angle and can immediately turn the crankshaft via the cam at the end of the pivoting arm.’
    • ‘The moving cantilever can actuate another device or move a cam or wheel to generate rotary motion.’
    • ‘If the main lock is punched, drilled or destroyed, one or more hidden spring loaded pins are activated that lock up the cam or gear mechanism operating the locking bolts so that the bolts cannot be retracted.’
    • ‘Contact between the cams and the tappets in the valve train span the mixed and boundary regions.’
    1. 1.1 A camshaft.
      • ‘Bill had rebuilt the engine and had fitted a BRR2 Piper cam which was hotter than the one previously used.’
      • ‘The all-aluminum engines feature dual overhead cams and four valves per cylinder.’
      • ‘The cam made the engine too lumpy for slow moving London driving and the radiator barely coped with the extra heat.’
      • ‘Advances in technology means that engines work more efficiently using an overhead cam.’
      • ‘Generally, the amount of fuel discharged by this system is controlled by the accelerator pump arm and cam; the duration of the discharge is controlled by the size of the squirter jets.’
  • 2informal A camera.

    • ‘They did enjoy every minute of it, sitting in Santa's lap and grinning from ear to ear as Santa's assistants clicked them on Polaroid cams and handed over the framed snaps in a jiffy.’
    • ‘Clint lost a digital video cam and tons of footage from all over Spain and Venezuela.’
    • ‘She could also tap into hotel surveillance cams.’
    • ‘He rushed back in and grabbed his Sony cyber shot digital cam and got a picture of it just as it flew off to the north at very high velocity.’
    • ‘I will try to take a few with my mini digital cam, which at least can be instantly uploaded to the web with this log.’
    • ‘However, it has just not been convenient to stop and use the digital cam to snap a few pictures.’
    • ‘I must make an effort to use my digital cam to snap a shot of Woody in action to post.’
    • ‘He gets better results a few blocks away, where he taps the signal from a pole-mounted freeway cam pointed at the San Francisco skyline.’
    • ‘My wife suggested I get my camera and I took several photos, all of them very disappointing with the digital cam.’


Late 18th century: from Dutch kam ‘comb’, as in kamrad ‘cogwheel’.




Main definitions of cam in English

: cam1CAM2


Pronunciation /kam//kam/


  • 1Computer-aided manufacturing.

  • 2Complementary and alternative medicine.