Definition of hames in US English:


plural noun

  • Two curved pieces of iron or wood forming or attached to the collar of a draft horse, to which the traces are attached.

    • ‘We used to call them ‘haum chains’ and, of course, they were hooked on the hames of a horse collar, the other end went on to the hook on the shafts of a cart etc.’
    • ‘Breast collars, which are much cheaper than full collars and hames, are easier to fit and accommodate variety pony sizes.’
    • ‘They couldn't stop Major dancing about but they still managed to fasten the hames chains onto his collar and the breeching chains onto the hooks further down the shafts and so he was, as they say, ‘yoked up’.’


Middle English: from Middle Dutch.