Main definitions of lame in US English:

: lame1lamé2



  • 1(of a person or animal) unable to walk normally because of an injury or illness affecting the leg or foot.

    ‘his horse went lame’
    • ‘Slightly lame in his right leg after suffering from polio, Bruce said the idea really appealed to him.’
    • ‘Lame from birth, he spent his life attempting to become a man of action.’
    • ‘She told the court that she was appalled and sickened by the poor condition of some of the sheep and cattle and said that between 15 and 20 per cent of the animals were lame.’
    • ‘A President Kerry will make the lame walk and the blind see!’
    • ‘That evening at a dinner in honor of his homecoming, Jervas narrates the tale of his life, beginning with his being rendered lame by breaking his leg while intoxicated.’
    • ‘Miss Potential, who suffered a broken cannon bone last year, crossed the line last, and was found to be lame in the left foreleg.’
    • ‘Later it was revealed that the horse was lame and he will now miss the remainder of the 2002-03 season, including his chance at Cheltenham glory.’
    • ‘Pat Behan, a Castledermot mechanic, who could make the lame walk, the dumb speak and the deaf hear when it came to cars, was asked to perform a major miracle.’
    • ‘I was just reading a report the other day that 24% of all dairy cows are lame.’
    • ‘‘He was a little bit lame after the race but now he's fine,’ Pletcher said.’
    • ‘There's a gratuitous poignancy provided by the fact that she's lame, which is no doubt to suggest that she won't be able to get another man - it fell a bit flat for me.’
    • ‘The four-year-old son of Scenic appeared perceptibly lame in his right hind leg during the broadcast.’
    • ‘There were also some lame sheep and others suffering from diarrhoea.’
    • ‘My friend looked and walked like an exceedingly tall, lame ostrich with his legs hopelessly entangled in brightly colored cloth.’
    • ‘While this was happening on Sunday, with the Rector leading the perambulation, those members of the congregation who are now too frail or lame to do the walk held an informal service in church.’
    • ‘The passage assumes that the blind will, in fact, want their sight back and the deaf to hear again, the lame to walk properly and dumb to speak.’
    • ‘Though born lame in one leg, and displaying a streak of romanticism, Agesilaus was typically Spartan in his qualities and limitations.’
    • ‘One time, not too long ago, I saw a line of lame dancers unable to participate in class, sitting on the sidelines, questioning when they would return to dance.’
    • ‘My daughter was meant to be out today but her horse went lame.’
    • ‘But alarm bells began ringing in January last year when Dolly become lame in one leg and was found to have arthritis.’
    limping, hobbling
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of a leg or foot) affected by injury or illness.
      • ‘The well was located near the center of their village and the healer's house wasn't too far away, but walking back with extra weight on a lame foot was not her idea of fun.’
      • ‘I was on edge, waiting for the sound of that lame foot being dragged on the floor.’
      • ‘However he realised that it just would not be that easy, for he himself had a lame leg and could only move slowly.’
      • ‘She is the sweetly sexy young innocent with the funky left-field disability: a lame leg from polio.’
      • ‘He took a step, dragging his lame leg behind him.’
      • ‘She ducked behind a bush, and knelt, weary of walking on her lame foot.’
      • ‘Her head bowed and eyes cast down, she made a poor figure upon the pedestal, and most people did not look twice after seeing her lame foot.’
      • ‘But M.G. Anand conquered the illness, as he overcame a lame leg when he was just two years old.’
      • ‘It's helping me stay balanced, which is hard with a lame foot - balanced both emotionally and physically.’
      • ‘Well, even someone who has lame legs can play DDR - it's just a matter of how good you are at it.’
      • ‘More than 60 people came for faith healing, including a blind boy, a boy with a lame leg, an old woman with a headache and a man with piles.’
      • ‘On the personal side, in the spring of 1947 Hua underwent an operation at the John Hopkins University on his lame leg that much improved his gait thereafter, to his and his family's delight.’
      • ‘You know that joke about the dog with a lame leg that walks into a bar?’
      • ‘All her dedication had paid off, his lame rear leg was completely healed.’
      • ‘His foot was seemingly lame, eyes hollow, face drooping with age.’
      • ‘Through the half-open door, she heard the unmistakable tread of Justus the steward, dragging one lame foot on the stone path through the kitchen garden.’
      • ‘Whatever injuries he may have sustained on the escape from Afghanistan (remember the lame arm) is clearly healed.’
  • 2(of an explanation or excuse) unconvincingly feeble.

    ‘it was a lame statement and there was no excusing his behavior’
    • ‘For the council to say they are waiting for the outcome of pending developments in and around the town is a lame excuse.’
    • ‘The lame excuse offered was that the meeting would get out of hand.’
    • ‘To say it is impossible to segregate fans is a lame excuse and an abdication of responsibility which will eventually drive away some Bolton supporters from attending altogether.’
    • ‘Bella thought this was a completely lame excuse to avoid her.’
    • ‘She cites his frequent absence on film shoots as a reason for the split-up, but I find that a completely lame excuse.’
    • ‘Now the congressmen are embarrassed and are coming up with all kinds of lame excuses to explain why they were there.’
    • ‘In other words, having your period is a totally lame excuse for skipping track practice.’
    • ‘But the lame explanation the Kerry spokespeople have come up with is hilarious.’
    • ‘Why can't they be open and honest, instead of giving lame excuses?’
    • ‘Making up lame excuses for herself is just making her look like an even bigger joke than she already is.’
    • ‘He turned up at 3pm, with a lame excuse about having had a puncture.’
    • ‘But now, she's all full of lame excuses, especially for Renee.’
    • ‘Downing Street has a rather lame excuse: ‘The challenges of globalisation have become clearer.’’
    • ‘Better roads in cities that receive heavier rains are testimony to the fact that blaming the rains is a lame excuse for poor quality of public works.’
    • ‘Punters like me are uneasy when we witness things such as hot favourites finishing down the field with only lame explanations offered by trainers and jockeys.’
    • ‘The following passage is not a lame excuse but an attempt to explain the situation and engage in a dialogue with you.’
    • ‘Just let's have no more of these lame excuses that it's all someone else's fault.’
    • ‘Do you think that's just a lame excuse or is that true?’
    • ‘Another of the BBC's lame excuses for going ahead with the episode is that it will not be screened until the autumn.’
    • ‘In his lame explanation he said he didn't remember the plot of the 1970s flick.’
    feeble, weak, thin, flimsy, transparent, poor, puny
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 (of something intended to be entertaining) uninspiring and dull.
      • ‘Excuse me while I crack up at my supremely lame pun.’
      • ‘The three of us all laughed at my rather lame joke, then my mother continued conversation.’
      • ‘They rocked the world with Fantasia and Snow White and Lady and the Tramp, but Mulan and the Lion King and Beauty and the Beast were rather lame as far as I've heard.’
      • ‘I smiled, a little embarrassed of my lame story.’
      • ‘Sometimes its good stuff, mostly its really lame corny jokes.’
      • ‘A damning indictment for a Paul Bartel film, Lust in the Dust is found guilty of being bland and lame.’
      • ‘Anyway, lame puns aside, the cast of Hollyoaks have worked a miracle.’
      • ‘Ridiculously catchy, this'll remind you how fun pop can be without being totally lame.’
      • ‘Is it just me or was that Treehouse of Horror special incredibly lame?’
      • ‘I raised my eyebrow at the sound of the program, it sounded incredibly lame.’
      • ‘I think most of it is completely lame and uninteresting until we get down to Hard Acid Techno and VGM (Video Game Music).’
      • ‘But the hair flicking and lame jokes that delight the boys at the Actuary of the Year dinner are gauche and slightly cringeworthy on the stage of a 1,915-seat theatre.’
      • ‘At its best, The Ring is just another lame and boring attempt at making a scary movie.’
      • ‘Contemporary Christian music may be lame and uninspiring, but the answer is not to be found in longing, naively and uncritically, for mainstream success.’
      • ‘I hear it from people all the time: Reality TV's lame, it's boring, and there's just so darn much of it.’
      • ‘I also hate Popstars Live, because it is lame, and boring.’
      • ‘The comedy aspect is a little lame, with too many one-liners, and the movie is hopelessly trapped in the '80s in almost every way.’
      • ‘It was really, really stupid, unfunny, and lame - much like the uninspired sex scenes throughout the film.’
      • ‘Faith paused to chuckled at her lame pun.’
      uninteresting, boring, tedious, tiresome, wearisome, dry, dry as dust, flat, bland, characterless, featureless, colourless, monotonous, unexciting, uninspiring, unstimulating, lacking variety, lacking variation, lacking excitement, lacking interest, unimaginative, uneventful, lifeless, soulless, insipid
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2North American informal (of a person) naive or inept, especially socially.
      ‘anyone who doesn't know that is obviously lame’
      • ‘Standing around and saying, ‘well, it's up to you’ without lifting a damn finger is a lame cop-out.’
      • ‘Isn't it a bit lame that I even have to think about this?’
      • ‘I want to know what shes thinking right now, I'm so lame.’
      • ‘Was Edward haphazard, scattered, and more than a little lame?’
      • ‘"Hi, " I said and regretted it immediately because I sounded so lame.’
      • ‘As a rule, I've noticed the skateboarders here tend to be lame.’
      • ‘I thought they would hardly do that, but anyway, we had to go back to the lame architect party with our tails between our legs!’
      • ‘He asked, then mentally kicked himself for sounding so lame.’
      • ‘Oh, I'm so lame, but that's the truth, silly or not.’
      • ‘Music's still good, drinks are still expensive, crowd's a little lame.’
      • ‘And a lot of it was conjured by those three lame idiots.’
    3. 2.3 (of verse or metrical feet) halting; metrically defective.
      • ‘While prosthetic body parts were not the most common early modern representation of metrically unsound feet, Ascham is in ample company when it comes to equating lame verse with human lameness.’

Main definitions of lame in US English:

: lame1lamé2



  • Fabric with interwoven gold or silver threads.

    • ‘Lightweight knits (i.e., tricot, sheers, fluid lamé or synthetic interlocks) will slip around when pinning and cutting.’
    • ‘In particular, much has been said of the dress Wallis wore for the reception, described by biographer Michael Thornton as ‘a dramatic dress of violet lamé highlighted by a brilliant green sash.’’
    • ‘His short-lived last television series, McCormick Rips, with a peroxide-blond Gary in gold lamé, counted as cruel and unusual punishment to rival anything Ellis can dream up.’
    • ‘If it is an Elvis show I tend to spend the first part of the evening at a champagne reception meeting and greeting the guests dressed suitably in gold lamé.’
    • ‘A drunken, bleary Jerry Lee Lewis, still clad in gold lamé, clutches a bottle as he staggers down a Memphis street.’
    • ‘It is years since I have seen such a delectable array of flesh-coloured tights topped with gold lamé.’
    • ‘For very lightweight or ravel-prone fabrics such as lamé, fuse interfacing to the wrong side before cutting.’
    • ‘It's sensuous, sensual art, much like Debussy and Ravel at the same time, but heavier on the perfume, gold lamé, and red velvet.’
    • ‘A length of shimmering silver lamé was delivered by the harried pageant coordinator himself.’
    • ‘Gold lamé looks better on drag queens, being the M.C. isn't as much fun as it looks and having your reputation precede you everywhere is actually exhausting.’
    • ‘The brightly colored outfits may be made of either cotton or such dressy fabrics as velvet, satin, and lamé.’
    • ‘So, I walk into this place and behind the counter sits a Zsa Zsa Gabor clone in a bright red coat trimmed in gold lamé with enormous fake rings weighing down her heavily manicured hands.’
    • ‘For Norma Shearer, he provides more tasteful, simple ensembles that heighten the contrast between her and her frivolous friends - so when she bursts forth in a blaze of lamé, we know her character has definitely evolved.’
    • ‘Cover the lamé with a press cloth and press the strip in place.’
    • ‘Camper than a Christmas tree and fonder of gold lamé than Lily Savage, Bill Kenwright's revival of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical is full of bare-faced cheek and a highly developed sense of fun.’
    • ‘In one shot he's wearing an oversized Esprit top doing some gay disco dance moves Ian Thorpe would be pleased with, and in another he is decked out in a costume which appears to be entirely made out of gold lamé.’
    • ‘This dimly-lit club-bar decked out with gold lamé, mirrors and candlelight has a giant suspended bird cage for the more exhibitionist dancers among you.’
    • ‘So there I was in gold lamé and bleached hair, and it was fantastic but it wasn't what I'd predicted for myself.’
    • ‘The film is a veritable catalog of trashy design motifs from the period - the leopard-lined salon wouldn't be out of place in a John Waters movie, and the couture runs to elephant bells, gold lamé, and K-Mart striped wallpaper.’
    • ‘Giant phalluses, which would likely once have been constructed out of wood, are still abundant, though they're now wrapped with shiny gold and purple lamé.’


[with object]
  • Make (a person or animal) lame.

    ‘somebody lamed him with a stone’
    • ‘Having escaped serious injury throughout his racing career, Tommy was lamed for life through a fall from his hack while riding to the post office in the Curragh Camp.’
    • ‘Using her pole as a staff, her temporarily lamed left hand useless at her side, she turned, beginning her hunt for the tricky sorceress and a place to camp once more.’
    • ‘While conceding the need for security and achievement, Lears bristles at ‘the arrogance of the meritocratic myth’ that justifies inequality, panders to dreams of human omnipotence, and lames any will to generosity.’
    • ‘For example, the ‘dangerous’ practice of wearing heels to the point where they lame you is probably limited to pockets of the corporate world.’
    • ‘But before a crucial race against the Triple Crown winner, Pollard breaks his leg, and in the very next race, Seabiscuit lames himself.’
    • ‘Yet, you offered to stay behind at Camelot willingly, when you were not lamed or too young.’
    • ‘He was lamed and in pain, and Milo was in a worse state.’
    • ‘In one of the Kerry stories in which the local priest is obliged to resort to the wise-woman when his horse is mysteriously lamed, we are told that many people believed that it was from the Devil that she had her powers.’
    • ‘She did evil acts from laming her horse to using Iolaus to kill his best friend.’
    • ‘No one was there except four serving men - slaves, they looked to be, and one of them badly lamed - who looked up at us from the firepit which they were cleaning.’
    • ‘What more powerful image of these fears could there be than that of an old, sterile woman, in sexual league with the Devil, killing and roasting babies, rendering men impotent, laming animals and destroying crops?’
    • ‘The rats then swarm onto and devour any lamed, limping brontosaurus that they come across.’
    • ‘No matter, Cyril, I'd rather you men took the extra time rather than laming a good plow horse by driving it to struggle through that footing.’
    incapacitate, impair, damage, put out of action, make powerless, render powerless, weaken, enfeeble, debilitate, indispose, make unfit
    View synonyms


Old English lama, of Germanic origin, related to Dutch lam and German lahm<br>1920s: French, from Latin lamina (see lamina).





  • (of fabric or a garment) interwoven with gold or silver threads.

    • ‘Helen is reclining on a chaise-longue, dressed in a full-length gold lamé gown and a tiara that glitters majestically in the afternoon sun.’
    • ‘There was a wide, shallow stage in the front of the room with a thick, faded gold lamé curtain wrinkled across it as a backdrop.’
    • ‘What was worse, she was wearing what appeared to be a gold lamé bikini.’
    • ‘Driver is strikingly supported by Danielle Cormack as his loyal concubine, who appears in an increasingly bizarre array of outfits - sequined corsets, dominatrix leathers, gold lamé bodysuit - as her instability develops.’
    • ‘Shirley drives a Rolls Royce Corniche and so I have spent many hours driving along the promenade in Blackpool dressed in a gold lamé suit and driving a Corniche.’
    • ‘He prefers tinkering in the studio to strutting on the stage, and would rather not wear gold lamé hotpants if it can be avoided.’
    • ‘At the stage of her career where she's expected to settle down with Uncle Vanya or some such thing, Rosling, I'm happy to report, instead wriggles into gold lamé hot pants, then taps, belly dances and whirls around a pole.’
    • ‘There are tuxedos and wigs, blue feather boas and heavy eye make-up, gold lamé curtains and painted backdrops.’
    • ‘It's really the same excuse I used in high school when I was caught wearing gold lamé pants and dancing to Donna Summers.’
    • ‘I do remember, I think, that at one point he stripped off a layer of his costume and had on a skin-tight gold lamé body suit, and that was the sort of thing that just wasn't done at the time by anybody my friends would respect.’
    • ‘This is a representation of the club scene; I love the gold lamé trousers!’
    • ‘Mom started scrubbing the place right then and there, still dressed in her gold lamé pants-suit.’
    • ‘Then Sally emerged, dressed to kill - in skin tight black leggings, black thigh length PVC stiletto boots, and an outrageous puffa jacket: tight at the waist, with a voluminous gold lamé collar and shoulders out to here.’
    • ‘The drinks were covered in pink paper daisies, gold lamé tinsel, multi-coloured streamers, and yellow smiley faces.’
    • ‘I played it as a sort of south London Hughie Green and was dressed in a gold lamé suit.’
    • ‘In a clinging silver lamé gown, Eileen slinks through the maze of pianos singing ‘Love is Good for Anything That Ails You’ with all the innuendo of a young Mae West.’
    • ‘On the evening that I visited him, I was ushered into a room lined with brown velvet chairs and sofas adorned with gold lamé pillows.’
    • ‘And yes, here he was back for The Look Of Love in his trademark gold lamé suit, just a couple of waist sizes larger than I remembered.’
    • ‘The drag kings were wearing gold lamé tracksuits.’