something that is not what it purports to be; a spurious imitation; fraud or hoax.
a person who shams; shammer.
a cover or the like for giving a thing a different outward appearance: a pillow sham.
pretended; counterfeit; feigned: sham attacks; a sham Gothic façade.
designed, made, or used as a sham.
verb (used with object), shammed, shamming.
to produce an imitation of.
to assume the appearance of; pretend to have: to sham illness.
verb (used without object), shammed, shamming.
to make a false show of something; pretend.

1670–80; origin uncertain

unshammed, adjective

1. pretense. 4. spurious, make-believe, simulated, mock. See false. 6. imitate. 7. feign, fake.

4. genuine. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
sham (ʃæm)
1.  anything that is not what it purports or appears to be
2.  something false, fake, or fictitious that purports to be genuine
3.  a person who pretends to be something other than he is
4.  counterfeit or false; simulated
vb , shams, shamming, shammed
5.  to falsely assume the appearance of (something); counterfeit: to sham illness
[C17: perhaps a Northern English dialect variant of shame]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1677, "a trick, a hoax, a fraud," perhaps from sham, a northern dialectal variant of shame (q.v.). Sense of "Something meant to be mistaken for something else" is from 1728. The meaning in pillow-sham (1721) is from the notion of "counterfeit." The adj. is attested from 1681;
the verb from 1677. Shamateur "amateur sportsman who acts like a professional" is from 1896.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Arthroscopic knee surgery is a remedy for arthritis, but researchers have
  matched its effectiveness with a sham operation.
The river will go down then all you environmentalist will get all excited about
  the dead zone in the gulf, which is another sham.
Sham or not, more than twenty people were reported killed in election-related
We were rattled up by an alarm,-perhaps a sham one, to keep us awake and lively.
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