Main definitions of ham in English

: ham1ham2Ham3

ham1

noun

  • 1Meat from the upper part of a pig's leg salted and dried or smoked.

    ‘thin slices of ham’
    ‘a honey-baked ham’
    • ‘Leeks, caramelized onions, Gruyere cheese, Belgian ham, and cherry beer reductions are hints of home for Wiedmaier.’
    • ‘I made this salad using the leftover ham and parsley I had on hand, and threw in some toasted hazelnuts for the added crunch and nuttiness.’
    • ‘The pigs are getting all these roots and nuts, that's how they keep them in Italy and Spain, and that's how they get some of the best ham and bacon - it changes the flavour of the meat.’
    • ‘Other suspects are roast beef, ham, salami sticks, chicken legs and unpasteurised milk.’
    • ‘Today, use such cured meats as ham, prosciutto, bacon, and pancetta for the hints of salt, nuts, and spice that curing imparts.’
    • ‘They included Stilton cheese, oven-ready chicken, cooked ham, pork pies, yoghurt and pasta salad.’
    • ‘Sausages, smoked bacon, even ham appear in some recipes, but such variations, reflecting local produce, are within the accepted framework.’
    • ‘This includes luncheon meats and smoked ham which are cured or contain preservatives.’
    • ‘To be honest, the great bird, the roast ham and the sausage rolls have been a millstone round this cook's neck for longer than he cares to remember.’
    • ‘Cured meats like bacon, corned beef, ham and pastrami contain preservatives called nitrates that have been linked to stomach and colon cancers.’
    • ‘He missed real bacon, English sausages, home-cured ham and top quality pork pies and decided to do something about it.’
    • ‘Aging seafood, he reports, is covered with a cream sauce and served over pasta; bits of ham and cooked vegetables are folded into omelets.’
    • ‘Try salty, spicy or smoked meats, such as ham, sausage, cold cuts or wieners.’
    • ‘The first thing out of the kitchen was a nice charcuterie platter decked with smoky pork rillettes and ribbons of fresh ham and prosciutto.’
    • ‘The Fords salt their own ham, make their own sausages and 17 different kinds of pie, including the most delicious pork pie I have ever tasted.’
    • ‘Next day they can make their own salad plates with slices of salami, ham, sticks of cheese or hard-boiled eggs.’
    • ‘Why stop with just one meat when you can drown a pizza in pepperoni, sausage, ham, bacon, beef, and pork toppings?’
    • ‘On the inside is the traditional ham and pork and pickles and maybe a little mustard.’
    • ‘Serve with salad, gherkins and cold sliced cured meats and ham.’
    • ‘He rolls out lasagne sheets using a broom handle, and creates a ragu with minced meat and tomatoes, creamy béchamel sauce, cooked ham, Parmesan and mozzarella.’
    feigned, insincere, false, affected, mannered, unnatural, stilted, contrived, pretended, put-on, exaggerated, actorly, overdone, overripe, forced, laboured, strained, hollow, spurious
    View synonyms
  • 2hamsThe backs of the thighs or the thighs and buttocks.

    ‘he squatted down on his hams’
    • ‘Jog back down, then head back up, pumping your arms and pushing through your hams and glutes.’
    • ‘I'll take it down so my knees are at 90-degree angles, then press up through my heels while squeezing my glutes and hams.’
    • ‘Contract your glutes, hams and quads of the front leg to initiate the movement; the back leg should tense only for balance.’
    • ‘When you begin to feel a stretch through your hamstrings, focus on using your glutes and hams to rise back up to the start position.’
    • ‘On the other hand, his glutes and hams have never been as shredded.’
    • ‘Highlights were arms, chest and hams with standout poses being side chest (full length, a view that captures separated hamstrings) and back double biceps.’
    • ‘Alves' plan for his first Olympia was to be bigger and harder with more detail in his hams and glutes and, of course, to finish in the top 10.’
    • ‘On occasion, train hamstrings before quadriceps to hit hams when you're at your strongest and to pre-exhaust them before compound quad lifts such as leg presses.’
    • ‘Performing curls while seated hits the inner hams and adductors for the most part.’
    • ‘By doing a partial movement, I concentrate on the lumbar region and keep my glutes and hams from assisting.’
    • ‘Try a variety of stretches to hit your glutes, hams, quads and adductors.’
    • ‘When you perform these correctly and under control, you can really feel the hams and glutes working.’
    • ‘Done on a roman chair or back-extension bench, this variation will bring focus to your hams and glutes rather than just your low back.’
    • ‘This low rep range is essential to developing the hams and glutes at the expense of unwanted bodyfat.’
    • ‘Deadlifts will carve detail into not just your lower back, but your glutes and hams as well, resulting in back poses that are far more striking than those of someone who ignores this vital exercise.’
    • ‘Walking lunges are excellent for sculpting your glutes, hams, quads and adductor muscles, but finding an open path in the gym can be a problem.’
    • ‘He trained his hams and glutes twice a week, but rather than pounding them with the heavy basic movements he had used to build them up, he shaped them by going a touch lighter with more isolation movements.’
    • ‘Going stiff-legged will hit mainly the glutes and hams, and the lower back to some degree.’
    • ‘You can also do romanian deadlifts, which focus on your hams, glutes and lower back.’
    • ‘By using dumbbells and with a slight foot adjustment, your hams and glutes will reap the benefits of isolation.’

Origin

Old English ham, hom (originally denoting the back of the knee), from a Germanic base meaning ‘be crooked’. In the late 15th century the term came to denote the back of the thigh, hence the thigh or hock of an animal.

Pronunciation

ham

/ham//hæm/

Main definitions of ham in English

: ham1ham2Ham3

ham2

noun

  • 1An excessively theatrical actor.

    ‘nobody gets to emote more than a ham on the witness stand’
    • ‘Picasso's the genius in question, and thankfully he's a big ham.’
    • ‘He's a ham - lawyer, feeding off the trouble people get themselves into.’
    • ‘The hero, Rajesh Khanna, became a terrible ham, but he was very beautiful in his heyday, as was his co-star, Sharmila Tagore.’
    • ‘‘He's such a ham,’ said Allen after her clean show jumping round that clinched the win.’
    • ‘Like Liberace, another small-screen icon who was almost as much of a ham, Holmes got his mum on the show.’
    • ‘Now he appears like a ham actor who is starting to believe his press agent.’
    • ‘He's just one in a long line of ham actors who turn soccer into a joke.’
    • ‘So here I am, writing a weblog and I feel like the cliched ham actor - ‘What's my motivation here?’’
    • ‘In the past, Argento's films have been filled with all manner of actors - from the ham to the hampered.’
    • ‘He's a ham actor wearing caricature expressions: petulance, fury, arrogance, dismay.’
    • ‘Even Kenny Mayne, a favorite ESPN ham, seems miscast reading an obit.’
    • ‘But he was, if nothing else, an exceptional ham actor and the truth never stood in his way.’
    • ‘Caine is O'Malley, an ageing ham actor playing Richard III in an absurd Nazi-era staging.’
    • ‘With a less than brilliant director, ham actors and a meddlesome newcomer, will it ever reach opening night?’
    • ‘They are peachy roles, and have been given to many ham actors to shine in: but David is a master, and brings to his Polonius what one imagines is a perfect expression of the intention behind the part.’
    • ‘Jalen Rose is the star, and it turns out he is quite a ham.’
    • ‘So there you have it, I'm a ham who likes to see his name in print.’
    • ‘They can be prima donnas, ham actors, even cheats (Brazil's Rivaldo, on his day, is all three).’
    • ‘This guy is simply the biggest ham in Quebec theatre, and the longer he is allowed to perform a role, the more egregious he gets.’
    • ‘Both are, in their different ways, ham actors, loving the big stage, loving the need to rise to an occasion, loving a desperate situation because of their relish for a fight.’
    1. 1.1 Excessively theatrical acting.
      • ‘Fugard the actor is determined to turn his country singlehandedly into a chief exporter of ham.’
      • ‘The characters are unengaging, the actors never called upon to produce anything beyond pure ham (although they do it charmingly enough).’
      • ‘The acting was pure ham, but then it is in every kids or ‘family’ film.’
      • ‘In rehearsals it came across really well, but during filming it was stilted, it was bad, it was really ham.’
      • ‘The Italian for salami is salame; that for ham might as well be Salome, at least in this reading.’
      • ‘He is as diabolic as he is over-the-top - call it deviled ham.’
      • ‘The script of sand and fog is more like it, not to mention the acting of ham and funny accents.’
      • ‘We who are uninitiated in Morecambe and Wise may find the new duo more ham than wise, although still intermittently funny.’
      • ‘Bowles' Roat is all ham, but at least he adds some mustard to an otherwise tasteless sauce.’
      • ‘The child scenes had enough ham to provide nutritious fillings for a national school trip's worth of sandwiches.’
      exaggerated, theatrical, ostentatious, actressy, stagy, showy, melodramatic, overacted, overdone, overripe, actorly, histrionic, affected, mannered, artificial, stilted, unreal, forced
      View synonyms
  • 2informal An amateur radio operator.

    • ‘A radio ham from way back, Addis says that he simply progressed from making little transmitters to building bigger and more sophisticated receivers and antennae.’
    • ‘If you're a radio ham, and a little disappointed with the lack of OS diversity in the mainstream amateur radio magazines, you're sure to enjoy Volker Schroer's intro to PSK31 under Linux on page 50.’
    • ‘Marshall's knowledge of wireless technology, given his years as a ham radio operator, helped pique his curiosity.’
    • ‘There are the occasional journeys into the belly of the spaceship, which looks like a lonely ham radio operator's Tandy designed bedroom.’
    • ‘This paper presents an account of one radio ham, William G. Broughton.’
    • ‘Many radio enthusiasts emailed from the United States, having read the story online, after Vodaphone said the problem may be caused by amateur radio hams.’
    • ‘Tony had registered n7qvc.com because he's a keen radio ham and his call sign is - you guessed it - n7qvc.’
    • ‘A keen German radio ham, named only as Michael B, overheard a policeman calling for help after his car got stuck in a muddy field near Frankfurt.’
    • ‘I had inherited a lot of old electronic gear and bits and pieces from my father, who was into radio ham / electronic projects.’
    • ‘Mr Ogg was a member of the exclusive International Correspondence of Corkscrew Addicts, an enthusiastic radio ham and a painter.’
    • ‘And the power he produces helps him travel the world - for radio ham Ian uses the free ‘juice’ to power up his equipment.’
    • ‘Look for a local ham operator to get very busy as phone lines jam for days and weeks to come.’
    • ‘ZDNet's technical editor in Europe, Rupert Goodwins, is a genuine, no-nonsense radio expert; radio ham licence, several hardware designs to his credit.’
    • ‘In fact, there's a ham network and an emergency ham network in New York City.’
    • ‘Each child, in turn, sits in front of a microphone beside a ham operator who broadcasts a call to the North Pole.’
    • ‘I'm a radio freak going back to my childhood, when I was a ham radio operator (even today the only code I know is Morse).’
    • ‘So if I become a radio ham, then I can talk to the people from various parts of the world.’
    • ‘He used a local radio ham called Roy Evans in a tiny radio shack in Great Bends to keep in touch.’
    • ‘But not by Grote Reber, a radio ham from Illinois who later moved to Tasmania.’
    • ‘The first radio amateurs, or hams, devoted much of their time in the 1910s to monitoring naval communications, as there was often little else to hear.’
    non-professional, non-specialist, layman, layperson
    View synonyms

verb

[NO OBJECT]informal
  • Overact.

    ‘he was hamming it up, doing all the voices and the effects’
    • ‘Kayne is dressed in a suit and clicking his fingers, hamming it up and bopping around like he thinks he's some sort of cool jazz man.’
    • ‘Flowers hammed it up with exaggerated facial expressions (perhaps the effect of seeing too many Vegas lounge acts).’
    • ‘Michael Clarke Duncan and Colin Farrell ham it up in support roles, but they're still buried by the loud, over-edited sludge that is the film's style.’
    • ‘One person's hamming up is another man's dramatic device and yet another man's (well, probably the same man's) way of getting the thing paid for and distributed.’
    • ‘Joe Biden is hamming it up big time, dramatizing the frustration of not getting Roberts to say how he'll decide specific cases.’
    • ‘What fun I had singing along to Rupert the Bear, hamming it up to I've Never Been To Me, and reviving my wannabe-Clare Grogan (didn't everybody, back then?) act to I Could Be Happy.’
    • ‘Depends on how funny you think it is to see Williams hamming around in layers of latex.’
    • ‘‘It took two-and-a-half years with Steve to get him to understand anything about life, and Chris Eubank didn't know what a monocle was when we asked him to wear one,’ Hearn continues, hamming it up.’
    • ‘A tremendous amount of glowering, eye-rolling and hamming it up went into silent-film acting, making it near impossible for modern viewers to comprehend the impact Valentino made at the time.’
    • ‘Although they appeared to be hamming it up for the camera, there was definitely a frisson of flirtation.’
    • ‘His performance is excellent, avoiding overacting and hamming it up for the screen.’
    • ‘Not that the group was hamming it up, but it did seem to give the media a convenient hook to anchor their stories.’
    • ‘From the unforgettable image of Gene Kelly standing in the rain, smiling so wide (he actually got really sick while doing that number) to Donald O'Conner hamming it up and running up walls for laughs.’
    • ‘Also, courtesy of Angry Dog, I have for your viewing pleasure a short video of the 2002 Dancehall Queen, Junko Bashment, working out a bit, hamming it up for someone's camera.’
    • ‘When your favourite serial gets intolerably depressing you can switch channels and watch Cyrus hamming on MTV.’
    • ‘He does this without over-acting or hamming it up for the camera (something that many actors doing Shakespeare have a hard time avoiding).’
    • ‘When we got there, we found several young men lounging in and on the clothes, eating bread by the loaves some other team had handed out, hamming for my trusty Contax.’
    • ‘Incredible to reflect, given his luvvy hamming as Capt. Picard, that Stewart does not say a word in either serial.’
    • ‘OJ's birthday is the topic of another show, with special guest Kato Kaelin, hamming for a Hollywood role, any role, please.’
    • ‘Every once in a while, you can see where the guys are hamming for the camera.’
    exaggerate, overdo, overstate, overemphasize, overplay, hyperbolize, overstress, magnify, amplify, inflate, catastrophize
    View synonyms

Origin

Late 19th century (originally US): perhaps from the first syllable of amateur; compare with the US slang term hamfatter ‘inexpert performer’. ham (sense 2 of the noun) dates from the early 20th century.

Pronunciation

ham

/ham//hæm/

Main definitions of ham in English

: ham1ham2Ham3

Ham3

proper noun

  • (in the Bible) a son of Noah (Gen. 10:1), traditional ancestor of the Hamites.

Pronunciation

Ham

/ham//hæm/