Definition of tame in English:

tame

adjective

  • 1(of an animal) not dangerous or frightened of people; domesticated.

    ‘the fish are so tame you have to push them away’
    • ‘A tiny multicoloured parrot flew from shoulder to shoulder to peer at us inquisitively, while a small tame monkey searched for fleas in our hair.’
    • ‘He has never encountered any tame animals besides dogs.’
    • ‘Thankfully the donkeys and cows were tame, and were easily chased out of camp if they got too close.’
    • ‘The wild creature was only tame under her hands.’
    • ‘If an animal is domesticated or tame, there would be lesser reason to fear that such an animal would pose a threat to the public.’
    • ‘A few tame lambs scamper around, probably bottle fed, and a single donkey nibbles at the grass among the goat-hair tents.’
    • ‘She's a very tame beast, and she accepts the bit well as long as you ride her smoothly.’
    • ‘Children enjoy the farm setting and the tame farm animals.’
    • ‘He said that it must be remembered that elephants are not naturally tame.’
    • ‘You can make a good fist of doing it, but in the end you have to come to terms with the fact that you are not dealing with a tame beast.’
    • ‘One internet site agrees, declaring the animals to be ‘noble and tame dogs with the family, but distrustful of strangers’.’
    • ‘The mother cat's quite tame and not very old herself, and the kittens are probably around 5-6 weeks old.’
    • ‘Instead of importing tame pigs, people from several different countries domesticated the animals themselves.’
    • ‘Almost every other tame creature - from the dog to the horse - came to our homes under very specific circumstances, unlike the cat.’
    • ‘I had to feed the chooks each night, help with making the butter and look after our tame pig.’
    • ‘I took her to the petting zoo, which has tame goats to pet.’
    • ‘Be aware that injured animals, even tame pets will bite savagely if given a chance.’
    • ‘These efforts produced a relatively tame dog, able and willing to track and to hunt.’
    • ‘Although most of the park's lions are tame, lions are, after all, still lions.’
    • ‘The 1911 Protection of Animals Act prohibits the hunting of tame or domestic animals.’
    domesticated, domestic, not wild, docile, tamed, disciplined, broken, broken-in, trained, not fierce, gentle, mild, used to humans
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    1. 1.1informal (of a person) willing to cooperate.
      ‘every businessman needs a tame lawyer at his elbow’
      • ‘Reports in Shanghai's usually tame newspapers complained that journalists were barred from approaching the mine.’
      • ‘Feigning a serious illness, he arranges for him to have a tame doctor prescribe an ocean voyage to Hawaii as a cure.’
      • ‘On the other hand, religion makes brave valiant men meek tame and cowardly such that they refuse to shed blood even for their motherland.’
      • ‘It takes all the fun out of it if people think you have a tame journalist rather than being able to command headlines on your own merits.’
      • ‘The newsroom became the home of the tame dissident and the compliant office holder.’
      • ‘Matthew, for a contract to be valid, there are actually lots of gritty details and for that reason it's sometimes not a bad idea to see a tame lawyer.’
      • ‘The biotech companies and their tame scientists are using other people's poverty to engineer their own enrichment.’
      • ‘With a tame sister republic to the north, the Belgian departments were lightly garrisoned by troops not expecting to be used to keep domestic order.’
      • ‘But the public's current disillusionment with tame government scientists in the wake of BSE is high.’
      • ‘So I think there are a number of people within the Met who are feeding information to what they regard as tame reporters.’
      • ‘She's intending to visit again, with a sister in-tow, and possibly once more with a tame builder who will advise her on the practicability of extending the house.’
      • ‘After their initial statements, all of the parties kept a careful silence, with the complete acquiescence of a tame media.’
      • ‘Anyone with a tame doctor (which would be everyone I know) can get an excuse note for those.’
      • ‘He used this to block his mother's attempts to re-examine his father with her own tame doctors.’
      • ‘It seems that they may not have expected to find that the man would be so tame and co-operative as to give them a free hand to engage in their business and flee the scene.’
      docile, submissive, compliant, meek, obedient, tractable, acquiescent, amenable, manageable, unresisting, passive, mild, subdued, under someone's control, under someone's thumb, suppressed, unassertive, ineffectual
      amenable, biddable, cooperative, available, willing
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  • 2derogatory Not exciting, adventurous, or controversial.

    ‘network TV on Saturday night is a pretty tame affair’
    • ‘By modern rock standards we were tame, but at the time, it was something new that people had never seen before.’
    • ‘The subpoena hearing, which is normally a tame affair, was contentious because the music industry sees it as a test case.’
    • ‘But some think the story of a drowning marsh and a heart-warmingly functional Mormon family is too tame.’
    • ‘I didn't like the bars and my social life was pretty tame and domestic.’
    • ‘The festival in her honour was a tame affair until a few years ago.’
    • ‘I responded rather half-heartedly with a fairly tame story from my past, and chucked her the names of a few people who I thought might be better suited.’
    • ‘Meet and greets like this are usually pretty tame affairs.’
    • ‘There were only a few rapids and they were extremely tame.’
    • ‘Now I'm not a big fan of such parades, but this one sounds pretty tame even according to the people opposed to them.’
    • ‘But they were tame responses compared with those by Democrats.’
    • ‘It was a pretty tame affair compared to last year.’
    • ‘Compared with the second half the opening half was a tame affair.’
    • ‘If you like village detective stories with a couple of murders - fine, but compared to today's stories they are so tame!’
    • ‘These films are really tame, innocent adventures, offering a real, if occasionally warped view of the South.’
    • ‘On the pitch, the game was a much more tame affair.’
    • ‘But I realize that it was very tame advice today, but that for many people, it was still very, very, perfectly valid.’
    • ‘Overall it was a rather tame affair with no controversy on any subject.’
    • ‘An exciting experience then, but very tame compared with today's high-speed jet travel.’
    • ‘Pretty tame by some people's standards, no doubt, but plenty of excitement for us.’
    • ‘Her parents had seemed responsible and tame, but they weren't.’
    unexciting, uninteresting, uninspired, uninspiring, dull, bland, flat, insipid, spiritless, pedestrian, vapid, lifeless, dead, colourless, run-of-the-mill, mediocre, ordinary, prosaic, humdrum, boring, tedious, tiresome, wearisome
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  • 3North American (of a plant) produced by cultivation.

    ‘a big field of tame hay’
    • ‘Residual vegetation forming a matted mulch was likewise a determinant of nest density and success in tame plant communities, with smooth brome demonstrating greatest nest density.’
    • ‘I suspect that people haven't had enough practice with it as a tame plant to know its best habits and favorite conditions, though they're easy enough to see in the wild.’
    • ‘My family moved to this location about 3 years ago when there wasn't a single tame plant on the place.’
    1. 3.1 (of land) cultivated.
      • ‘But this time around caring for each individual needs was not that easy, and his once tame land started to grow unmanageable and wild.’
      • ‘The traces of their times were left here even by citizens of the mighty Roman empire, who were encouraged to settle in this area by riches of nature, fertile land, forests and rivers, which were for centuries a magical attraction for people who settled on this tame land.’
      • ‘We want to have a nice combination of wild & tame land, where we can build up the soil of the ‘farm’ and also replenish trees, provide a habitat for wildlife, and generally be good stewards of this little plot of earth we've been blessed with.’

verb

[with object]
  • 1Domesticate (an animal)

    ‘wild rabbits can be kept in captivity and eventually tamed’
    • ‘She tamed the beast so she gets to keep it.’
    • ‘One who would be inspired by the colours on my face and the changing season outside to make love to my hair and tame the wild beast that it is.’
    • ‘A tame animal does not pass that tameness onto its offspring; taming is not a heritable, genetic change, and there is no simple way to discover when a hominid first tamed another species.’
    • ‘Africans, for example, were criticized for not taming the elephant, which had proved so valuable in Asia.’
    • ‘Alexander's early potential is seen in his ability to tame wild horses (like Hector in The Illyiad).’
    • ‘It was only after the Mongols tamed horses, yaks and camels that they took to a nomadic herding lifestyle.’
    • ‘If anyone's succeeded in taming their black dog, drop me a note sometime and let me know what worked for you.’
    • ‘The whole population devoted their time to taming horses.’
    • ‘On the other hand, terrestrial species are more often domesticated, while only a few marine species are tamed, mainly in zoos, dolphinaria or so called ‘Sea Worlds’.’
    • ‘Cockatiels make the most endearing, affectionate, responsive and easily tamed pets around.’
    • ‘He told her how much he loved horses, even taught her some tips on how to tame a wild horse that just got bridled from the wilderness.’
    • ‘When horses were tamed their first military use was in drawing light carts which served as shooting and fighting platforms.’
    • ‘Some live out their circus fantasies by taming lions or elephants, but aerial acts combine macho cool and athletic grace.’
    • ‘Wild crops such as wheat and barley began to be cultivated, and wild animals such as sheep and goats were tamed and then domesticated.’
    • ‘Villagers believe the shaman uses black magic to help tame the elephant and sever ties to the mother.’
    • ‘You will be able to tame a creature and keep it as a pet once you have reached a certain skill level and success rate with that particular mob.’
    • ‘It was rare that he got excited to the point of babbling about anything, but the thrill of catching and taming a wild horse was something she could easily understand.’
    • ‘Who was the Greek hero who tamed the winged horse Pegasus?’
    • ‘The Asian elephant featured strongly in Buddhism and Brahminism and the elephants were tamed and domesticated to be able to be used efficiently.’
    • ‘She shows him the quick sketch she has done of him lying on the grass smoking a cigar, and then takes out another sketch she made of him years ago, back home, taming a horse.’
    domesticate, break, train, master, subdue, subjugate, bring to heel, enslave
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    1. 1.1 Make less powerful and easier to control.
      ‘the battle to tame inflation’
      • ‘Teaching can curb and tame an undisciplined enthusiasm.’
      • ‘This is obviously much easier than traditional forms of meditation that took much practice and discipline to tame the mind.’
      • ‘The last time police repression was used to tame the powerful Italian left was in the 1970s.’
      • ‘Dab a little on your eyebrows to tame unruly hairs.’
      • ‘A few drops of either product, worked through your hair, tames unruly strands and adds significant shine.’
      • ‘Serum actually works very well in taming unruly strands.’
      • ‘You don't throw rocks at the guy who's trying to tame the tiger.’
      • ‘But 25 years of European exile and a gradual mellowing of the spirit have tamed the Australian rocker's legendary excesses.’
      • ‘At 48, he is learning to tame his creative spirit and take on just a couple of projects at a time.’
      • ‘I was working on taming my out of control curly black hair, it wasn't going so well, I had given up on trying to blow dry it straight, so I just let it go.’
      • ‘Will she be able to tame the unruly private bus drivers who often hold the city life to ransom and streamline the chaotic city traffic?’
      • ‘Her unruly teeth have been tamed into a neat, pearly, Californian smile, the parakeet spiked hair is now a glossy black mane.’
      • ‘To support this she claims that women viewed it as hospitable and welcoming, not as something harsh or forbidding that needed to be tamed or overcome.’
      • ‘That's a major shift for the Fed, which has spent the last quarter-century trying to tame inflation and contain price increases.’
      • ‘Although times are still tough there, inflation has been tamed and the foundation stones are in place for the country to transform itself in the run-up to joining the EU.’
      • ‘Emotion, though we believe we can control it, is so volatile that is like taming the storm.’
      • ‘Isn't it also about - or I should say, how do you avoid it being about mind over matter, you know, that old Western paradigm of the rational mind controlling or taming the body?’
      • ‘Interest rates jump in an effort to tame inflation, the inevitable by-product of unrestrained spending.’
      • ‘In these circumstances parliament, rather than being a mechanism by which mass pressure is applied against the ruling class, is a mechanism for taming the representatives of mass feeling.’
      • ‘But it may simply be naïve to think that any country can permanently tame the tiger of tribalism.’
      subdue, curb, control, calm, master, bring to heel, tone down, water down, moderate, mitigate, tranquillize, overcome, discipline, suppress, repress, mollify, humble, cow, pacify, mellow, mute, temper, soften, bridle, get the better of, get a grip on
      View synonyms

Origin

Old English tam (adjective), temmian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch tam and German zahm, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin domare and Greek daman ‘tame, subdue’.

Pronunciation

tame

/teɪm/